Manchester United great Andy Cole believes the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will bring the best out of Romelu Lukaku, who ended his recent goalless streak. The Belgium international had failed to score in any of his last seven matches for United, but he managed to end this run during the 4-1 triumph over Newcastle United last weekend.
In an interview covered on United’s official website, Cole, a treble winner with the club in 1999, feels that the competition for places with Zlatan could improve Lukaku’s showing on playing field, he said: “I’m excited. I was fortunate to be in that position at United, having other players after your place and that competition brings the best out of you.
“I have no doubts it will bring the best out of Lukaku. He expected Zlatan to get fit at some stage. He started the season very well. He has found it difficult in a few games because the team didn’t create a lot of chances, and the team didn’t play as well as it could have, but I think he will be okay. I definitely think Zlatan will bring the best out of him.”
Lukaku started off his United career in a quick fashion, netting 11 goals in just 10 appearances across all competitions. However, he therein struggled for form during the month of October which he eventually overcame the problem by finding the scoresheet against the Magpies.
Despite the glowing words, Lukaku has yet to prove his mettle against the top-six clubs having contributed just five goals in nearly 40 appearances since his move to ex-club Everton back in 2014. With Zlatan around, United have a plan B in their cards for the crunch games, although it is yet to be seen whether he could have a similar impact like the previous campaign.
The big Swede notched 28 goals in 46 appearances during his maiden season with United last term, but his campaign came to a pre-mature end in April after he sustained a gruesome knee injury, which could have quite easily ended his career at 36.