Romelu Lukaku is a signing who will improve his all-round game and suit Manchester United’s style under Jose Mourinho, according to Rene Meulensteen.
The 24-year-old is close to an Old Trafford switch after the two clubs agreed a fee for his transfer.
He will get the chance to link up with close friend, and the world’s most expensive footballer, Paul Pogba, as well as creative players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata.
He scored 26 goals and assisted seven more in all competitions last season, despite aspects of his game being heavily criticised, and Meulensteen thinks he can only get better.
“I can see where Mourinho is coming from with this signing,” the former Man United assistant told Saturday Scoreboard on talkSPORT.
“Of course [he can improve], he is going to play in a team with better players around him.
“[His weaknesses are] not making that difference and a big impact in really, really big games and the second thing is certain moments where decision making is key – that is what makes the difference in very important games.
“It means you need to be able to play a big part in the link-up play, getting in behind and getting past people, if he works on it every day he can improve.
“The good thing is he is only 24, he already has four or five years of experience in the Premier League. These are all positive things and if you play and train every day with top players around you, it will improve you anyway.
“I do think [he fits into Man United’s system of last season], it was very clear and evident for me that Mourinho likes to have a strong target man up front.
“It is not exactly what Sir Alex was aiming for, but the main aim is to be successful and he was that last year with winning the Europa League and the League Cup and he obviously wants to improve on that.”
Lukaku brings similarities to last year’s top scorer in Ibrahimovic, while offering the ability to stretch defences and run the channels in the Portuguese manager’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
It has been well documented his first touch is something he has to work on, but Meulensteen is in no doubt when it comes to his finishing ability in front of goal: “Absolutely.
“The good thing about it is he has got a variety, he can score goals outside of the box, with his head, left foot, right foot and they are really good attributes that he’s got.
“Obviously they bought [Victor] Lindelof and there were rumours of going back for Michael Keane [before he joined Everton], but Lukaku is a straight forward signing and a big signing for Mourinho.”