Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli (10.8) is a giant of the premier league, already the 19th highest scorer in the competition’s history with 113 goals, and at 25 years old, he has plenty of time to move even higher on that list. This season however, he has only managed a somewhat disappointing 12 goals and 0 assists in 1768 minutes.
As for all United players, one must consider their stats in the Mourinho period and the Solskjaer period separately, as Ole has freed the attackers from the shackles of their defensive responsibilities and breathed new life into their attack. That being said, I still believe their is some truth to the joke that Lukaku plays football like he’s wearing Jeans and Timberlands. I’ll be taking a deep dive into his statistics to determine his viability as an asset for the remainder of the season.
Lukaku’s expected statistics are looking pretty good in comparison to his actual returns. So far, he has registered 12.05 xG, indicating an under-performance of 0.05, and has laid on 1.68 xA, demonstrating a significant under-performance of 1.68, as he has failed to register a single assist. Whenever attacking statistics remain true to expected returns, its a great sign for the sustainability of goal-scoring returns. Lukaku plays a key role in the front line of Manchester United’s attack, banging 2.55 shots per 90 but only laying on 0.87 key passes for his teammates, suggesting that his role is that of the target man.
Taking a look at these shot locations, you can see the signs of an elite forward. Essentially, all of his shots are taken from good positions, inside the penalty area. He has also been on the end of numerous high quality chances (xG >0.10), and has been fairly clinical in converting them into goals.
As previously mentioned, there has been a notable change in Manchester United attackers following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, so I’ll take a look at Big Rom’s stats after the Liverpool game. Since then, he has played 589 minutes, scoring 6 goals and generating 5.83 xG, suggesting that he too has had a notable uptick in form.
With Lukaku’s fantastic goal scoring form (4 in 3), he could be a fantastic differential for the remained of the season, as he is only in 5.1% of teams. However, many managers, myself included, already own one or more United attacking assets, and with their fixtures souring somewhat in the remaining gameweeks, I wouldn’t be too confident in doubling or tripling up on them.
Key Passes/90: 0.87