We, in Belgium, can kiss our hands that we can experience a striker like Romelu Lukaku. The chance that our children and grandchildren will see such a force of nature pass by during their adult lives is small to non-existent.
Only one was made. The cast was thrown away, smashed and buried when Lukaku rolled off the line. In Anderlecht’s youth work they are even sure that they will never find someone with those qualities again.
He wasn’t even perfect when he ended up with Anderlecht’s first team, but what else were they going to teach him? Scoring came so easily to him in the youth series that they could not teach him new tricks because he always fell back on his existing arsenal: superior speed, strength and physique.
He has further perfected this during his career and filled the gaps in his game himself. Playing with his back to the goal, bouncing, keeping track of the ball… The lesser aspects of his game are now among the best. And that brings us to the one thing that certainly cannot be taught: his mentality.
Watched hours of Doku and Bakayoko matches
Even at 30, Lukaku is still obsessed with improving every day. Better to understand his teammates. In recent months he has watched hours of Doku, Bakayoko and Lukebakio matches. To know how and when they pass their man and where he can best position himself to get the ball.
Lukaku is infatuated with the NBA. Crazy about it. He takes things from the best ever. The motivation Michael Jordan sought everywhere. Kobe Bryant’s work ethic. He now also passes this on to the three aforementioned players: never rest on your laurels.
Winning is the only thing
A striker like Lukaku, that happens maybe once every 100 years. A ‘number 9’ who can carry an entire team by his presence. You can’t put on one more defender. And that gives room for the others, because it is difficult to provide double coverage on Lukaku, Doku and Bakayoko.
He also lives on feelings of revenge. Next summer he wants to show the world that the Red Devils still belong. He wants to win and feels that it can happen with this team of eager young people. Add buddy De Bruyne, who also finds Tedesco’s tactical approach a revelation, and you have a top team.