Former Man Utd star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the bet he made with Romelu Lukaku over his first touch while they were both at Old Trafford.
As noted by talkSPORT, it’s an area of the Belgian forward’s game that has long been ridiculed as he has often struggled to show a decent first touch to either control the ball or link up play.
At times, he has shown that he’s capable, but other times he has struggled to show real quality in that facet of his all-round game and it appears as though it was the subject of a jovial bet between him and former teammate Ibrahimovic while they were both at Man Utd.
“Don’t expect good technique from Lukaku, but his best strength is power. If only he’d listened to me,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“At Manchester United, we made a bet: ‘I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.’ He replied: ‘What do I win if I get them all right?’
“I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player. He never accepted the bet. Perhaps he was afraid of losing.
“Joking aside, Lukaku has a hunger to prove himself and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too.”
Lukaku should undoubtedly have taken a lot from playing alongside and training with Ibrahimovic, as it would have been beneficial for his career moving forward if he had learnt from him.
Perhaps the bet detailed above was more of a joke than anything, but ultimately it is an area in which he must still improve, and so it’s debatable as to how much money he would have won if the pair had taken it more seriously.
The 26-year-old has made a decent start to life in Italy after his summer switch from United, scoring three goals in eight games for the Serie A giants. Time will tell though if he can build on that and grow into becoming Antonio Conte’s talisman and physical leader up top while also continuously showing improvement as he reaches his peak years.