Wednesday 19 September 2018

'People were criticising him for being moody' - Romelu Lukaku's verdict on Alexis Sanchez's arrival at Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez's January move captured the public's imagination
Alexis Sanchez's January move captured the public's imagination
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has welcomed the increased competition for places in Jose Mourinho’s line-up following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.

United’s capture of Sanchez was the most eye-catching deal of last month’s transfer window, with Lukaku relishing the chance to play with the Chilean forward who moved to Manchester in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“He is a Manchester United player - he was destined to play here,” Lukaku told Sky Sports as he welcomed Sanchez. “He deserves to be on the big stage. It was something he wanted as well.

“He has a lot of experience after playing for Barcelona and Arsenal. I admire the quality he has on the ball, but especially his will to win. People were criticising him for being moody, but he is not like that. He is a just a winner.

“I speak Spanish, so it is easy for me to communicate with him. He speaks good English as well. We always try to make a player feel comfortable, and he feels very comfortable here now. I think we will see the best of him.”

When asked whether he fears Sanchez’s arrival could see him squeezed out of the United starting line-up, Lukaku suggested he has proved his worth to boss Mourinho after scoring eleven Premier League goals since his £75m move from Everton last summer.

“I work hard and do everything to make sure I am in the starting line-up,” he stated. “It is the manager’s choice (if I am picked), but he knows what I can do for the team - I score goals and give assists and I think in my short time here I have been important for the team.”

Lukaku also welcomed confirmation that Mourinho has signed a new contract, he disputed his manager’s eagerness to concede the Premier League title to Manchester City despite their huge lead at the top of the table.

“Of course it is good (Mourinho’s new contract), everything is stable,” added Lukaku. “He can continue building on what he is building now. Everybody knows how the manager works.

“If we do everything right until the end of the season, add in some reinforcements in the summer, we will be even stronger than we are now.

“I do not think the same as the manager. It (Premier League) is not done yet, we have to keep fighting.”

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