Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that he might opt to use Romelu Lukaku in a new role, similar to the one he played against Arsenal last night.
By his standards, Lukaku has endured a woeful campaign so far. The Manchester United striker was a trusted member of former boss Jose Mourinho’s side. However, since Solskjaer replaced the Portuguese at the helm, the 25-year-old has found opportunities hard to come by.
He has lost his place in the starting XI to Marcus Rashford, who has been devastatingly brilliant in recent weeks. However, when given the chance, Lukaku has shown on several occasions that he still has something to offer. He has scored two goals in his last four Premier League games, both of them coming merely seconds after he entered the pitch. He also scored in the previous round of the F.A Cup against Reading.
Solskjaer opted to bench Rashford and Martial for the game against Arsenal, and used Lukaku on the right of an attacking diamond, with Jesse Lingard at its tip. It worked against Tottenham Hotspur, and was incredibly effective once more against the red half of London.
Lukaku was sublime out on the right in the first half, grabbing the assists for both the goals by Alexis Sanchez and then Lingard. It left Unai Emery’s men incredibly exposed and Lukaku exploited every bit of space he got. After another great performance in such a system, Solskjaer hinted that he may start using the Belgian striker in that sort of role from now on.
“Rom has played there for Belgium,” Solskjaer explained.
“[He’s] Played there for Everton – against 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.”