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Man United target Lukaku perfect to replace Ibrahimovic, insists Neville

Date Posted,July 6, 2017

Romelu Lukaku has the speed to make him the perfect replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United, claims Phil Neville.

The Belgian is set to undergo a medical after the Red Devils reportedly struck a deal worth an initial £75m with the Toffees.

Ibrahimovic was a revelation last season under Jose Mourinho, but Neville, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, believes Lukaku’s speed will offer United greater versatility to their tactics and a chance to play on the counter-attack.

“I think you’ve seen an improvement, I think there were of couple of criticisms – can he play in big games? Can he score in the big games? I think he half dispelled that last season,” Neville said. “He scored in a couple of the big games and I think he is improving all the time.

Paul Pogba is thought to have helped facilitate the move for his friend Lukaku (Image: PA)
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“I think he’s a different type of striker from what United have had for a long time, someone that can probably run in behind, can be a little bit of a battering ram, that United can play on the counter-attack.

“I think with Zlatan last season United couldn’t play on the counter-attack because obviously his age and the fact his legs are slowing down a little bit. Now you’ve got someone with genuine, genuine speed that United can play on the counter-attack.”

Lukaku up against United last year (Image: Getty)

Neville also dispelled any suggestion that Lukaku would struggle to fit in at United due to his history with Mourinho, who sold him at Chelsea, insisting that was a long time ago.

“It will be interesting to see how he fits into this United team because there’s a lot of talk about ‘Jose sold him, didn’t play him at Chelsea’, but that was four or five years ago,” Neville pointed out. “Romelu Lukaku is a different player now, he is a better player. His record actually is sensational.

“I mean 25 goals last year, 18 the year before. If you go back to his West Brom days when he was on loan there from Chelsea [he scored] 17 Premier League goals. If he gets anything like 17 to 20 this year United will be successful.”

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