Wednesday 26 June 2019

Romelu Lukaku says failure to fully click with team-mates is reason behind his Man United goal drought

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Romelu Lukaku celebrates with team-mates. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Romelu Lukaku celebrates with team-mates. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Simon Peach

Romelu Lukaku believes his scoreless streak is down to the fact he has yet to fully click with his Manchester United team-mates.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a largely positive maiden season at Old Trafford after his big-money move from Everton, but goals have been hard to come by in his second term.

Lukaku has failed to net in his last seven appearances for United but scored both goals in Belgium's 2-1 Nations League win against Switzerland during the international break.

He has netted five goals in his last four outings for his country, with the striker suggesting a closer bond with his international team-mates is behind the difference in goal rates.

"I don't know," Lukaku said. "With Belgium I've been playing for 10 years, since I was 16. Players know me much more.

"Here I still think my teamwork between myself and my teammates can improve and be much better. It's something that we're working.

"The players need to know me and know my movement. When that starts clicking I think the results I have with Belgium will also come here."

Lukaku will be hoping to score his first United goal since September 15 when perennial Serie A champions Juventus arrive at Old Trafford in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"In the first halves we started slowly," the striker said, reflecting on the 3-2 win against Newcastle and 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

"No initiative on the ball, no movement. In the second halves, everything that we said we wanted to do in the first half we did.

"That's why we came back and got great results. Now the key is to start games like we do in the second half.

"The mood is really positive. Obviously, we're disappointed with how the game ended against Chelsea.

"It's going to take time to be where we want to be but the last two games have shown that we can play, we can press forward and we have played to make a difference.

"The work that we're doing behind the scenes has to be delivered into wins."

Juventus are sure to make a positive result tough on Tuesday, when ex-United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to frustrate his former club.

"You just look at the way he plays, the way he performs," Lukaku said.

"The way he prepares himself for the biggest games. He's a guy who has been consistent for the last 10 years. He's an example for all the young players coming up."

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