Romelu Lukaku’s latest goal against Southampton today marked his sixth in six Premier League games.
That run of form alone is encouraging for Manchester United, given that the one-nil win keeps them level with derby rivals Manchester City atop the Premier League. Couple this with Lukaku’s goals against Real Madrid and Basel in the UEFA Super Cup and Champions League respectively making that eight goals in as many competitive games, and it goes some way towards justifying the £75m that the Red Devils paid Everton in the summer.
The latest one came today via an Ashley Young cross. United missed the Englishman’s crossing prowess at full back prior to his return from injury, as Young cut inside onto his stronger right foot and crossed the ball into the box. Though Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal made a great reaction save from Lukaku’s close-range header, the Belgian was quicker to the rebound than Wesley Hoedt.
At the young age of just 24, the strike was Lukaku’s 91st goal in the Premier League, following spells at West Brom, Chelsea and Everton. This puts him level with none other than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored as many Premier League goals (91) as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Parity with a Man Utd legend. via @ Squawka
5 – Romelu Lukaku has scored more league goals than today’s opponents Southampton this season (4), despite attempting 47 shots fewer. Eye. via @optajoe
In regards to his predecessors, the Belgian’s storming start to the season has seen him to-date outshine the likes of Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie.
Eight goals in eight for Lukaku. He’s reached that number quicker than Cantona, Cole, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie & Ibrahimovic. #mufc via @samuelluckhurst
The scoring rate puts him on par with Frenchman Louis Saha, though United hope that Lukaku will have a more lasting impact on the club.
On this evidence, that’s a pretty safe bet.