How last summer's tour amazed Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku believes his first pre-season tour with Manchester United, in the USA last summer, was vital in helping him settle into the way of life at the club.
The striker is currently away on World Cup duty with Belgium following a memorable first campaign at Old Trafford, and scored twice in his country's 3-0 win over Panama in their opener on Monday.
Lukaku will be hoping to progress deep into the tournament in Russia, which would mean he would miss the Reds' pre-season return to the States next month.
But he recalled last summer's trip fondly during an interview with ManUtd.com before he departed to link up with Belgium.
When asked what was the most enjoyable thing about the 2017 tour, Lukaku declared:
“Oh, man – everything, mainly because it was my first one. Everything was great. The thing that really surprised me was how competitive the players are in training: everyone wants to win and I’m that type of guy too. So I really had to get onto that really quickly. At first I didn’t know that if you lost a game in training that people would be on you straightaway! [Laughs]
”The banter we had as a team was just brilliant off the pitch, too. We all had dinner together every day – not only the players but the staff as well; everyone was together. The team bonding is something that really amazed me.
Lukaku also had some words of encouragement and advice for any young players who may experience tour for the first time this July.
“I’d say just enjoy it. It’s very simple with the manager: if you train well, you will get the opportunities to play,” he added.
“I think Scott [McTominay] and Marcus [Rashford] are the great examples of that: if you work hard you will get a chance to play.
”So for the guys that come in, I’d just say make sure you deliver a positive impression on the manager and that you want to work for the team because it’s all about the team.
Tickets for all of United's fixtures on Tour 2018, presented by Aon, are now on general sale. Visit manutd.com/Tour2018 for more information and to buy online. If you can't get to the games, remember... MUTV will show every match live.