Man Utd Stars Backing Romelu Lukaku for Successful Season After Super Cup Goal
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku will be able to count on strong support from his team-mates this season, with both Antonio Valencia and Nemanja Matic backing the £75m star to be a success at Old Trafford after early criticism from cynics.
Eager to tear him down, detractors gave Lukaku a rough ride in the wake of Tuesday night's UEFA Super Cup defeat at the hands of Real Madrid. The Belgian scored United's only goal in the 2-1 loss, but it was a bad miss that has stuck in the memory for some.
Yet Matic, whose parried shot created the opportunity for Lukaku to find the net, has no worries about his new colleague, citing the confidence boost that came with the goal.
"It's very important for us that our strikers score goals. It's very important for confidence," the Serbian midfielder told MUTV after the game.
"As you know he missed a very good chance but this can happen - it's football. But I am happy for him that he scored a goal after that and I'm sure that he will continue to score goals and that he will score many this season," Matic added.
As for Valencia, who captained United in Michael Carrick's absence against Real, the incredible physical strength of Lukaku, combined with a good level of footballing intelligence, should give the 24-year-old the platform to have a good season.
"Lukaku has done a great job with the clubs that he has been at," Valencia explained in an interview for Inside United.
"I am a kid next to Romelu! He truly is strong. I have seen him work on the field and in the gym. It's truly incredible to see his strength, power and the intelligence he possesses. We hope it is a good year for him and the team.
"Definitely, [he is a defender's worst nightmare]. He is strong, but he also has good movement around the field and if I am playing as a defender then I would not like to play against him!"
Prior to his first 'official' goal for United, Lukaku had already scored three times for the club during pre-season with strikes against Real Salt Lake, Manchester City and Valerenga.