Paul Ince says Romelu Lukaku ‘looks like a different animal’ while Owen Hargreaves claims he ‘got a raw deal at Man United’ as pair hail Inter Milan striker after scoring in a record 10 successive Europa League matches
Paul Ince has praised the transformation of Romelu Lukaku from his Manchester United days after the Inter Milan striker scored twice to fire his side into the Europa League final.
Lukaku netted two second half goals that underlined his finishing prowess as the Serie A side strolled into Friday’s final by hammering Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in Dusseldorf.
Having also scored in his tenth consecutive Europa League game, the former Manchester United striker is now on 33 goals for the season, putting him just one behind the record in a debut year at the San Siro set by the legendary Ronaldo.
Romelu Lukaku was all smiles as he fired Inter Milan into the Europa League final on Monday
The streak continues! ��
Romelu Lukaku scores in his 10th consecutive Europa League match ��
That’s the Belgian’s 32nd goal this season ��⚫️#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/pajQdvogTf
— Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 17, 2020
Former United and Inter midfielder Ince believes the player’s new found happiness has been key to his explosive form this campaign that he had struggled to show during much of his time at Old Trafford.
‘He looks fit,’ Ince claimed on BT Sport. ‘At Manchester United he looked like he couldn’t run around the park. He looks like a different animal. We know he can finish, but wow.’
‘So many players come to England and they struggle. Lukaku didn’t struggle but I just felt under [Jose] Mourinho he wasn’t happy. The most important thing is if you’re happy you’ll fit in.’
The Belgian striker netted twice for Inter in a 5-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk
Lukaku has netted in his tenth consecutive Europa League game and has 33 goals this term
Another former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Lukaku was being weighed down during his time a Old Trafford and claims he has flourished playing alongside Lautaro Martinez who also struck twice in Monday night’s victory.
‘At 27 Lukaku looks like he’s the perfect age,’ Hargreaves added. ‘What a pair Lukaku and Martinez are.’
‘I think Lukaku got a raw deal at United. He almost played like he was carrying that burden but now he’s in a place where he’s playing at a really high level.’
‘When you have a front two that explosive it takes a lot of pressure off the team.’
His tally puts him just one behind Ronaldo’s (above) record in a debut season at the San Siro
Lukaku admitted post-match that while he had an eye on setting personal records his main goal was to overcome a Sevilla side he believes are favourites to win Friday’s final after knocking out his former United side on Sunday.
‘The team’s doing well, everybody’s trying to do their best,’ he said. ‘Physically and tactically everybody is at 100 per cent.
‘We knew that as long as we kept the centre of defence closed we wouldn’t have any problems. Our physicality was too much for them.
‘I think at the minute everything is going well. Records are nice to be broken but we need to win and Sevilla are the favourites.