This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Het Belang van Limburg, former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed he told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of his desire to leave back in March.
What did he say?
The Belgium international’s future at Old Trafford was the subject of intense transfer speculation over the summer, with reports suggesting he could be on his way out of the club after just two years.
In the end, the 26-year-old joined Serie A giants Inter in a £74m deal, with United not signing a replacement for the forward by the end of the transfer window deadline.
Now, Lukaku has revealed he made his feelings clear about wanting to leave the club back in March of this year, and insisted Solskjaer gave his blessing to do so.
He said (as translated by Goal): “Solskjaer has my eternal respect. He understood me when I said in March that it was time for me to leave England. I have been in the Premier League as an 18-year-old boy and now I am 26. Solskjaer wanted to keep me, but I was ready for something new.”
If Lukaku’s comments are to be believed that he did indeed ask for his exit back in March, then there really cannot be any excuses for United not to have signed a replacement for him. They had ample time to assess the situation and which targets to potentially go out for, but instead, their last minute dilly-dallying cost them dearly.
Whilst the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have inspired a recent revival in goal-scoring form, the Red Devils looked desperately short of firepower up top, particularly when the latter was injured for the best part of two months. In that time, the former went on a drought of just one goal in seven Premier League games, and it is a big reason why the side now find themselves nine points off fourth-placed Manchester City.
Were Man Utd right to sell Romelu Lukaku?
Lukaku essentially did United a favour in revealing his intentions so early, but instead, the Red Devils simply sat twiddling their thumbs, and watched everything blow up in their faces at the last second.