A total of 26 goals in 44 appearances for Manchester United – only the eighth player in the club’s 140-year history to have reached that amount in his debut season. Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer at the age of only 24. Only 3 goals away from becoming the highest scorer his club has had in the last 5 years. The youngest foreign Premier League player to score 100 goals and the first Belgian to do so. So just why is Romelu Lukaku so underappreciated in the Premier League?
As much as we love to call football the ‘beautiful game’, there’s a side to it that isn’t as pretty. With the amount of money being pumped into the sport thanks to ridiculous sponsorship and television deals, clubs are getting richer, and are being forced to pay more for players. Unfortunately, instead of being praised for working hard and making it to a big club, players are scrutinized for their price tag and are forced to carry that burden along with them for the rest of their careers.
This is a weight Lukaku has had to carry around for most of his career. At the age of 18, he signed for Chelsea for a fee around the region of £17 million, which was still a hefty fee for a youngster at the time, unlike today’s market, where even teenagers are on the market for around £100 million. Although he was a well known name around Belgium, not many had heard of him elsewhere around Europe, and he had to prove that he was capable of making it at a big club.