In years gone by it was a common sight to see one of the Premier League’s most lethal strikers make the move to Old Trafford.
In fact, during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign in charge at Manchester United it was pretty much the norm.
Sir Alex regularly hunted out the most dangerous forward in the league and brought him to Old Trafford in a deal which strengthened United and directly weakened their rivals.
The history books are littered with examples from Andy Cole to Dwight Yorke, from Dimitar Berbatov to Carlos Tevez or, more recently, the signing of Robin van Persie.
So has José Mourinho taken a leaf out of Sir Alex’s book by signing a proven Premier League goalscorer in Romelu Lukaku?
“Yeah I agree [with that],” says former Manchester United defender Wes Brown when the question is put to him.
“I mean the last three seasons now he has scored a lot of goals and he has proved himself.
“So if we can get him in the United team, with some better players around him, maybe create more chances, I am sure he can do even better this season.”
Brown’s belief that the signing of Lukaku is a throwback to Manchester United’s transfer policy of old is understandable when you look at the Belgian’s statistics.
Since arriving in England, Lukaku has demonstrated that his powerful and physical style is made for the Premier League – something Brown knows all about having come up against the 6ft 3in mountain on several occasions.
“Yeah it was tough,” says Brown with a wry smile.
“I played against him many times and after the games I’d always tell him ‘good game.’
“He is a big lad. He is a big, strong lad and he is powerful – that’s definitely an advantage.”
Lukaku’s goal record in England backs up the notion that he is tailor-made for the Premier League and the signs were there from the very start.
Indeed, during his first loan spell at West Brom in 2012/13, the striker scored 17 Premier League goals – more than anyone at his parent club Chelsea managed that year.
More recently, after joining Everton in 2014, Lukaku has struck more than 20 goals in all competitions in each of the past three seasons and he was only pipped to the Premier League’s golden boot this year by the unstoppable Harry Kane of Tottenham.
Such a level of goalscoring brings back memories of when Manchester United signed the likes of Andy Cole and Robin van Persie.
In 1994, Cole had finished as the Premier League’s top scorer for Newcastle United after bagging 34 goals. Within six months Sir Alex had brought him to Old Trafford in a deal worth £7million.
Van Persie was a similar tale as he finished top of the scoring charts with 30 goals for Arsenal in 2012. A year later he was wearing the red of Manchester United as a Premier League champion.
Brown is hoping Lukaku can have a similar impact at Old Trafford this season, particularly given the number of points Mourinho’s side dropped at home last year.
Only time will tell if the £75million Belgian does justify his price tag, but either way Brown now thinks his old club have laid down a marker for the rest of the transfer window.
“It is massive,” says Brown. “He is a big player, he’s a big Premier League player and just coming to United now shows that they mean business – he scores goals.
“The players will all love it as well, they’ve got a big lad there who can do things on his own. He is big, strong, fast and he is going to bring something else to the team.
“Like I said, if they had won a few more games at home last year it could have been a completely different story as well. It is a lot of money but that’s the way it is and I am sure he is worth it.”
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