It’s time to analyze what happened during the 2018-19 season for Manchester United. And for that, we will go checking each players individually to rate their performances, give a brief summary of what happened over the course of the campaign, and assess the role of the player in the upcoming campaign — if he stays with the club:
Let’s continue with Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker began the year as the focal point of the club’s attacking line. However, he lost that role as the season advanced. Things took a turn for the worse when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as the manager, and the former Everton star quickly lost his starting spot down the stretch. In fact, his presence at the club for the upcoming 2019-20 season remains to be decided.
Appearances across all competitions
Belgium’s all-time leading scorer finished the season with 15 goals and four assists in 45 appearances, and he managed to see time in all four major tournaments across the campaign. Lukaku appeared in 32 Premier League outings and bagged 12 goals, although nearly half of them came on a very productive stretch between August and September.
Lukaku also netted twice in nine Champions League outings, although both goals came on that epic turnaround against PSG on French soil. He netted once in three FA Cup matches, and didn’t score in his lone EFL Cup match.
Did he perform above or below the expectations?
On the surface, Lukaku didn’t have a bad season. He was one of the club’s top scorers and delivered some big moments across the season. Let’s be honest here. Who can forget his double against PSG? But if we dig deeper, we can see the Belgian wasn’t able to live up to his price tag or his impressive scoring records on the international stage with Belgium.
For instance, Lukaku’s last goal on a United shirt came on March 2nd. In other words, he didn’t find the back of the net in the final two months of the campaign. That’s too much of a scoring drought for someone worth around €75 million. Lukaku failed to produce on the Champions League as well. He went scoreless in eight of his nine European matches.
United didn’t bring Lukaku to produce on the Premier League. He was signed to become a difference maker on the title race and against European opposition. He couldn’t do any of those two things during the 2018-19 season.
Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?
Given his production, it’s understandable that United might be looking to offload the Belgium international. Inter Milan are reportedly interested in him, but Lukaku wants clarity. He wants to know what will happen, and if Solskjaer is going to consider him as a valuable piece of the squad moving forward. A reunion between both parties before training camp will be decisive to have clarity going forward.