Paul Ince is never afraid to tackle the big issues when it comes to his former club Manchester United, and it’s fair to say that he didn’t spare Romelu Lukaku during the Belgian’s turbulent time at the club.
Lukaku is now following a similar road to what Ince did during this stellar, by moving from United to Serie A giants Inter Milan and the frontman has had a promising start to life in Italy, netting twice in his first two appearances for I Nerazzurri.
Despite not pulling his punches on Lukaku during his time at the Red Devils, Ince has always recognised the tremendous goal-scoring ability he possesses and feels – despite all his faults – that Man United have made a huge mistake in letting him leave this summer.
Lukaku’s transfer has also left Incey wondering where the goals are going to come from for Manchester United this season.
“When you look at United, you’d like to think that Anthony Martial would score more goals. You’d like to think Marcus Rashford would get more,” said Ince.
“Daniel James, he’s done really well and then there’s (Jesse) Lingard. So, if you can share the goals around between those three or four, if they get 12 or 14 goals each, then you’ll be okay for a season.
But, they’re not going to do that.
“Rashford only got 10 in the Premier League last season, and that was the highest outside of Lukaku!”
“So, when you look at maybe Aguero, Kane, Aubameyang and Lacazette, you see at players who are 25-goal-a-season men. Man United haven’t got that now, but they had it Lukaku.”
To make matters worse for United supporters, Ince doesn’t see a ready-made, realistic solution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s striking woes either.
“It’s hard to get those strikers. They don’t grow on trees,” said the Red Devils legend.
“Ole’s got to have a combination now. Could he have gone to Bayern Munich and got Lewandowski – no. Could he go and get Harry Kane off Spurs? Probably not.
There are people out there, but you have to be realistic.
“I said the other week that Man United – I wouldn’t say are copying the Liverpool way – but, they’re going with short forwards who have got pace, talent and speed. They’ve got the same type of players.
“There’s still time for them to grow.
Incey, however, still has his doubts about some of United’s current crop.
“Sometimes I look at them, I think ‘yeah’, they could be great. Then sometimes I look at them and think, they’re not so great”, said Ince.
“It’s going to be an up-and-down season for United until they get the right personnel and the right team in place.
“They’re still a young team, and it’s going to take time.”