By William Hill
Last Updated: 7th January 2020
Romelu Lukaku’s exile to the Manchester United substitute’s bench continued against Tottenham at Wembley, but the Belgian still has what it takes to become a club legend.
United were nibbled in from 3/1 to 9/4 in the Premier League top-four betting after beating Spurs thanks to Marcus Rashford’s goal and David de Gea’s goalkeeping superheroics.
Lukaku was introduced with just 18 minutes of normal time remaining and managed just one off-target shot during his Wembley cameo.
However, plying his Red Devils trade from the bench didn’t stop interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer becoming an Old Trafford hero and the early signs are the former Everton and Chelsea striker has the mentality to follow suit.
Early signs Lukaku is adapting to the Solskjaer role are promising
He may have some way to go to emulate the United boss’ achievements as a super sub, which included the winner in the 1998/99 Champions League final among a mammoth 28 goals from the bench for the club, but the Belgian has already proven capable of making an impact in the role.
Since the Norwegian took temporary charge in Manchester, Lukaku has featured four times, scoring three times, with two of those strikes coming as a replacement.
On both occasions he found the net, his impact was almost instantaneous, bagging within two minutes of his introduction against Bournemouth and breaking the deadlock away to Newcastle just a minute after entering the fray.
Against Tottenham, there was no such luck, but he still managed a handy 11 touches following his 72nd-minute introduction, also getting off one effort on goal in a period in which United were defending for their lives.
Lukaku was also given the full 90 minutes when Solskjaer fielded a much-changed side against Reading in the FA Cup, scoring again.
Whether, or for how long, the 25-year-old is willing to apply himself to such a role remains to be seen, but for the moment it seems United could well have found their new super-sub.
Next up for the Red Devils is the visit of Brighton to Old Trafford and Lukaku looks sure to be a choice wager in the last goalscorer odds having netted in his last two appearances against the Seagulls.