Romelu Lukaku’s habit of not celebrating goals has left former striker Chris Sutton confused.
He started the season in incredible form with 11 goals in his first 10 games for the club. But that was followed by a barren patch that led to questions about his ability to lead the line for Manchester United. His form has picked up again of late with him scoring twice against Huddersfield in the FA Cup at the weekend.
During his difficult patch Lukaku opted not to celebrate some of the goals he scored – apparently in frustration at the criticism aimed in his direction. But Sutton doesn’t understand.
‘Lukaku appears to be a laid-back character but sometimes he looks uninterested,’ he told the Daily Mail.
‘I have never understood why he chooses not to celebrate some of his goals. Celebrating is impulsive. That buzz you get from scoring is the reason you play football. Is it a visible display of his frustration that he cannot score against the best?’
Sutton has highlighted Lukaku’s poor record against the better sides this season as Manchester United prepare for clashes with Sevilla in the Champions League and upcoming Premier League games against Liverpool and Chelsea.
‘All but one of his 12 Premier League goals for Manchester United have been scored against teams currently in the bottom half, with the other against ninth-placed Everton,’ the former Chelsea forward explained.
‘Those goals have helped United beat teams they struggled to break down last season. But as Manchester United’s £75million centre forward, his role is to define the big moments.
‘It is not just goals that are lacking against United’s top-six rivals but performances, too. In six matches against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham, he has mustered four shots on target.’
Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures
Sevilla (A) – Wed Feb 21 (Champions League)
Chelsea (H) – Sun Feb 25
Crystal Palace (A) – Mon Mar 5
Liverpool (H) – Sat Mar 10
Sevilla (H) – Tue Mar 13 (Champions League)
Brighton (H) – Sat Mar 17 (FA Cup)
Swansea (H) – Sat Mar 31
More: Manchester United FC
Sutton suggested Lukaku’s failure to score against Manchester United’s top-four rivals could be due to the Belgian’s lack of a ‘killer instinct’.
‘Confidence should not be an issue. Lukaku has all the attributes to be a top player. But he does not seem to have the killer instinct that the likes of Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane possess.’