Liverpool host Man United today with two strikers who are going through very different circumstances.
The Reds have Roberto Firmino, who is a unique forward that has been ever-present in their revival over recent seasons, while United have Romelu Lukaku, who is struggling to win over fans.
With that in mind, let’s compare these two transfers…
While he may not have been as prolific in front of goal as the Uruguayan, there’s no denying that Firmino has been a huge success at Liverpool. His strength and passing as a centre-forward make him a focal point of Liverpool’s attack, and allows players around him to thrive.
His partnership with Sadio Mané and Mo Salah last season was energetic and ruthless, as they careered to the Champions League final.
In light of the success that he has been at Liverpool, this makes £29m look like nothing at all. Overall, a very good signing.
TT Grade A+
Man United signed Lukaku from Everton in July 2017 for a fee of £75m with £15m add-ons. The striker had scored 25 Premier League goals for The Toffees the season before, and was touted to be the Red Devils’ main goalscorer for many years to come.
The big striker’s first season at Old Trafford was one that started very well but slowly ground to a halt, managing 16 goals in total in the league. This season hasn’t been much better for him either. In his defence, at times, he has lacked the service from players around him to truly unleash his potential. Nonetheless, he is under-performing.
Away from the field, the United supporters are seldom shy to lambaste Lukaku for his performances, but Mourinho has stood by him through dry spells and demonstrated a loyalty to the star-striker which is bound to help him in the long-run.
Despite the player’s significant athletic prowess, he has been found guilty of lacking technique or tactical nous in critical moments. This is what stops him being compared with some the of world’s best strikers.
At such an extortionate price, fans can be forgiven for expecting more from the player.
TT Grade B
When a player is £75m, he has to regularly perform, and that is something that Lukaku just does not do. On the other hand, for less than half the price, Firmino has proven to be a far better signing for Liverpool, and it is the reason that he has to win this battle.