Manchester United ambassador Andy Cole has endorsed Romelu Lukaku’s debut season at Old Trafford, stating his admiration for the Belgium international scoring 26 goals as a lone striker.
Cole’s best tally with United was in fact 25 goals in the 1997/98 season and, while appearing on The Paddy Crerand Show this week, he expressed his great respect for the club’s latest no.9.
“Lukaku has had a very good season,”Andy opined on MUTV.
“I think it has probably been a lot tougher than he would have thought and now he appreciates that you can't have a weekend off at Manchester United, which he could have done at his previous clubs Everton and West Bromwich Albion. Here, you can't afford to do that. But he has played the majority of games and that says a lot about him. He has not been injured and, for his first season, I think he has been top drawer.”
“It is difficult to be a lone striker and especially if you don't get the service at times,”said Cole.
“It could be described as the graveyard shift because it is very, very tough. Sometimes people have questioned Romelu this season and said he has not done this or that, but you have to be brutally honest: if you don't get the service as a lone man then it is very, very tough.
“That is why I keep saying he has done very well this season. He has already got himself 26 goals in his first season playing for United as a lone striker. I am not saying we create a million and one chances for the boy either. He has done really well and fair play to him for his goal return.”
Cole looked fit and well during his MUTV appearance, which is fantastic news following his kidney transplant surgery one year ago. The former England international was upbeat about his health, too, but joked he must be considered a
“doubt”for United’s remaining matches this season.
“I'm not too bad,”he happily reported.
“It is a day by day process. Some days are good and some days are bad, but on the whole I am very happy with where I'm at. But I'm a doubt for this weekend's game and probably a couple of weeks yet!”
“You can see the development in us,”said Cole, when looking at the campaign as a whole.
“But we have to brutally honest and say the other part of the city has been absolutely fantastic, with the football they've played, and the fact they've only lost one league game this season says it all. It is a gap that needs to be closed and hopefully next season we will do. If we do finish second then we can look at it as a positive, even though finishing second is not what everybody wants to see at Manchester United. But it is a positive compared to last season.”