The Norweign tactician insists that he was impressed by the Belgian’s role in the FIFA World Cup last year.
Manchester United faced Arsenal FC at the Emirates last night in the FA Cup tie. Once again, Ole’s tactics was spot on as United claimed a 3-1 victory over their arch rivals in some style. Romelu Lukaku whose tenure at United has been subpar and widely criticised was superb on the night and managed to bag 2 assists.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started Lukaku on the right hand side as is so often done with him in the Belgian national team and this allowed him to play more as a creator and participate in the final third. Lukaku’s first assist to Alexis Sánchez was a delight and his second to Jesse Lingard was precise and fine. This saw him receiving the Man of the Match award after being reinstated to the starting XI and Romelu thanked his manager for the new role.
“It was the manager’s idea to play me there on the right side of the attack,” said Lukaku in the post-match press conference.
Lukaku also spoke on how he is frequently employed in that role for his country and Ole seeked inspiration from that. ”I think he saw me play there a couple of times for Belgium and I did a job for the team in that position. I have to take my chances. I’m taking things a day at a time and working hard in training and I’m ready whenever the manager needs me.”
In fact, Ole also highlighted how this could open up a new tactic for the team. “Rom has played there for Belgium. Played there for Everton- at Arsenal, actually, a few years back- and he played in the World Cup against Brazil. So it’s a tactic we can use.”
“We know how strong he is, obviously coming in back stick if we get crosses – we never really got too many crosses in today. But he held the ball up, ran the channel, brought other players in and a fantastic pass for Alexis’s goal, but then again it was not just like it was an open goal! It was a great finish by Alexis.”
Romelu Lukaku has been on the fringes of the squad for a while considering his poor form under Mourinho and he hadn’t started a single Premier League game under Ole until last night. His last action as a starter in the squad came against Liverpool on 16 December in Mourinho’s last match in charge of the Red Devils. And after the performance against Arsenal, Lukaku is giving his manager some serious consideration.