Former England striker Alan Shearer believes Lukaku’s run of seven matches without a goal can be put down to his current desire to bag goals himself rather than play in his teammates.
United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to criticise Lukaku, and called for fans to get behind the Belgium international after signs of frustrations began to creep into the atmosphere at Old Trafford last weekend. Mourinho also drew on his assist for Anthony Martial’s winning goal against Tottenham as evidence that Lukaku was still having an impact in other areas, even if the goals had dried up.
Shearer though believes that the £75m signing should make it his priority to break the dry spell, and that means altering his game slightly to become something of a poacher.
“When you're on a barren spell, forget everything about going out wide, about coming deep, thinking I'm not getting a touch of the ball,” Shearer said on the BBC’s Match of the Day.
“It's time to be selfish. Width of the 18-yard box, that's what he's got to think about. He isn’t going to score by running into corners.
“Let the people create the chances for you. He's a goal-scorer and he’s getting judged on scoring goals.”
Lukaku hit the ground running at United, scoring 12 goals in just 11 games as he settled into his new team following his move from Everton in the summer. But it has now been seven matches in all competitions without finding the back of the net, with his latest blank coming in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea – the club he could easily have been playing for had he decided to return to Stamford Bridge instead of moving to Old Trafford.
More worryingly, three of those games came against top six opposition in Liverpool, Tottenham and now Chelsea, which has not helped in ridding his reputation for being a ‘flat track bully’ that only scores against the lower-ranked teams in the Premier League.
While Shearer wants Lukaku to do more for himself, fellow former England striker Ian Wright had much more sympathy for the 24-year-old, and blamed attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan for failing to adequately supply him with the opportunities to score.
“I do feel for him,” Wright said. “He seems to be making the wrong moves and the chances aren't coming.
“Mkhitaryan had six passes to him today as they're attacking midfielder. That is nowhere near good enough and he needs to look at himself.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies