Romelu Lukaku is one of those footballers who regularly falls between the cracks when it comes to conversations about who the best strikers in the world are.
The Belgian has got flaws in his game, that is undeniable. His touch isn’t the greatest, his hold up play often gets him in trouble against the top sides and for someone with his size, he’s not the best in the air.
Focusing on those deficiencies however is to do a disservice to the 27-year-old.
He scores all types of goals, all the time. He is the current record holder for the Belgian national team, while only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has outscored him for Manchester United in a single season since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Add to that, that he has now become the fastest Inter Milan player to ever reach 50 goals for the club – doing so in just 70 games. That means he was quicker than the likes of Ibrahimovic, Christian Vieri and even the great Ronaldo, who was the previous record holder with 77 games.
So it’s crazy to see that people still question whether or not Lukaku is in the world class bracket of strikers.
Obviously everyone has a different definition of what is world class and what isn’t, but he meets all the criteria of mine.
He’s been scoring at the top level for years now, in different teams and different systems. He scores is unbelievable in a one on one situation against defenders and can finish with both feet and his head.
The former Everton man has also greatly improved his work with his back to goal, forming a great partnership with Argentine Lautaro Martinez up front under Antonio Conte.
Last season Inter missed out on the Serie A title by one point and lost out in the Europa League final. This year they are currently one point off the top of the table again, this time behind local rivals AC Milan, although they have crashed out of Europe completely after another poor Champions League group stage.
Despite all that, it’s time to start giving Lukaku the praise and flowers that he deserves. Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile have outscored him in Serie A since he joined the league and he continues to strike fear into every defender he comes up against.
Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane are most certainly ahead of him in the rankings among the world’s best strikers, while you could include Ronaldo there too if you believe that to be his primary position these days. But beyond that, everyone else comes down to preference or fine margins.
A top striker who has flaws, but who doesn’t? Lukaku is world class and deserves all the credit for it.