Sitting third on the goal scoring chart of the English Premier League, Everton’s biggest signing in terms of monetary investment has been in a stellar form. The 6ft 2in striker had scored 17 goals in 31 appearances during his loan period at Goodison Park which saw him move from Stamford Bridge for a record fee of £28 million and a five-year deal with the club. Under Roberto Martinez, he has shown considerable signs of improvement following a considerable amount of playing time. However despite his stellar performance, the Merseyside club is currently on 12th position, level on points with Bournemouth with 2 games in hand. And although they are in the semi-finals of FA Cup, yet it looks unlikely that they can hold on to their star player who has harboured dreams of playing in UEFA Champions League and has started to gain attraction from various clubs across England.
They are due to play Manchester United next on 3rd April, following the International break and interestingly he is being looked as their next transfer target. But with a reported transfer fee in the region of £50 million, will he be a good signing for the Red Devils?? In my hindsight, it won’t be a good one due to the following reasons:
Young strikers of United will be affected:
It goes without saying that Manchester United is one of those teams that gives the perfect exposure to its youth players. Years after years, decades after decades has seen young players make a mark for themselves by coming out of the youth ranks of their club academy. This is one area that shall see a blip for sure. With youth players like Marcus Rashford making his mark recently, Antony Martial who has been in a good form since signing from Monaco and others like Will Keane, James Wilson (out on loan) waiting in the wings, Lukaku’s arrival might force them to seek a career somewhere else, something which forced Danny Welbeck to leave the club due to lack of playing time. Thus signing him would be a case of taking 2 steps backward in the pursuit of taking one step forward, which they should look to avoid right now.
Jose Mourinho is widely tipped to take over the duties from Louis Van Gaal after this season. Interestingly it was the same Portuguese under whom Lukaku was sold to Everton wherein it is said that the attitude of the player was the reason he let the striker move. Although the Belgian has said that he would be happy to work under his former manager again, it would indeed be catastrophic for Manchester United lest they sign him and find his temperament too hot to handle. Off late they have not been able to dominate the footballing stage like they have done in the past and hence can ill-afford yet another season on similar lines.
Curious Case of brilliant small team players:
Yet another observation that might hamper United if they sign him is that there have been various players in past who played brilliantly for small clubs and yet couldn’t progress as well as they should have when they went on to sign for bigger clubs. During his days at Stamford Bridge, he was an average player and although his lack of appropriate playing time was a hindrance in being a world class player as he is widely known now, yet his sporadic performances gives a feeling that he might go the Ricki Lambert’s and most recently Christian Benteke’s way.
United needs a more experienced striker:
Last but not the least, Manchester United needs an experienced striker who can guide their young players and polish them for the future. In Martial and Rashford, they have two young prodigies who can carry on the United baton in near future. And if they have to succeed, it is of paramount importance that a more experienced player is roped in to guide them along with the talismanic striker and captain Wayne Rooney. In this case, a pursuit for Zlatan Ibrahimovic will make more sense who is a free agent, post this season and coupled with his desire of playing in the English conditions has travelled widely. That he is not an injury freak player also suits the bill as far as playing in an intensely physical league like that of English Premier League is concerned.
Thus keeping in minds the above points, I feel that Manchester United should give up chasing this youngster. If at all they should continue to give chances to their youth academy players and look to sign a matured proven player who can lead the club to greater success.