Graeme Souness believes Manchester United should have sold Anthony Martial instead of Romelu Lukaku and says the Chelsea record signing ‘can be better than Didier Drogba’ at Stamford Bridge.
Belgium striker Lukaku spent two seasons at Old Trafford, scoring 42 goals in 96 appearances for the club before being sold to Inter Milan in 2019.
Lukaku thrived in Italy, netting 64 goals in 95 games and helping Antonio Conte’s side win the Serie A title last season.
Earlier this month, the 28-year-old completed a £97.5m move to Chelsea, where he spent some time earlier in his career but failed to make the grade.
Souness expects Lukaku to excel at Stamford Bridge this time around and says he can surpass his mentor and role model Drogba, who established himself as a Chelsea legend during his nine-season spell in west London.
Liverpool legend Souness has also reiterated his belief that Manchester United made a ‘mistake’ when they sold Lukaku and says French forward Martial should have been offloaded instead.
Martial, 25, has largely flattered to deceive at Old Trafford since becoming the most expensive teenage footballer in history when Manchester United signed him from Monaco in 2015.
‘I’ve always maintained that Manchester United made a mistake in letting him leave and keeping Anthony Martial instead and their scoring statistics suggest that’s the case,’ Souness told The Times.
‘Lukaku scored 64 goals in 95 games in two seasons at Inter; Martial’s 78 for United are spread across seven seasons and 259 games.
‘Lukaku was an easy target who came for big money into a team with no real direction of where they were going.
‘The signings were hit and miss and so was the football they were playing. He must have felt unloved to leave Old Trafford.’
On Lukaku’s return to Chelsea, Souness added: ‘He is ready to be the main striker that Chelsea have lacked since Drogba left in 2012. In fact, he’s potentially better than him.
‘He has everything that Drogba had and more. Drogba was a scorer of all types of goals and Lukaku is the same.
‘He can get in a race with people, he can win headers at the far post, he can get across defenders at the near post, he can power his way into scoring situations that less physical centre forwards can’t.
‘He’s a centre forward that centre halves will not enjoy playing against. When you’re his size, normally you’re static and playing with your back to goal and centre halves like that.