Just when Old Trafford needed a hero to save another embarrassment, an unlikely candidate emerged in Romelu Lukaku.
When he scored the stunning 89th-minute winner against Southampton and raced towards the Stretford End in pure joy, the Belgian finally seemed the striker for whom United paid more than £70 million in 2017.
Lukaku’s a changed man under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who himself, having been a prolific goal-scorer, must have seen bags of quality in him. What began as a slow process to regain his confidence is finally bearing fruit for both the manager and player. Having scored six goals in 16 Premier League appearances under Mourinho this season, Lukaku’s already matched that in ten under the Norwegian (stats via Transfermarkt).
Not only that, but he seems a much more mobile threat in the final third. Solskjaer clearly identified his shortcomings and knowing the hard-worker he is, has made him work on improving it. Slowly but surely, Lukaku’s first touch’s (heavily mocked upon) considerably improved and he’s a much more clinical player up front.
However, it was probably Solskjaer’s gamble at initially operating him through the wings which worked like magic. Especially in big games against Arsenal and Liverpool, Lukaku’s fantastic crossing ability down the right impressed fans.
Slowly, he gained the confidence to move back into the middle, and having scored three out his last four goals with his weaker foot proves how deft his touch is.
Solskjaer’s persistence’s definitely worked out, as he’s elevated another talent in helping Lukaku find back his deadly goal-scoring form.