Garth Crooks has made a bold prediction on which of Cristiano Ronaldo or Romelu Lukaku he expects to score more goals this season.
Ronaldo made the emotional return to Manchester United this summer after leaving Juventus, while Lukaku also came back to the Premier League for a second spell at Chelsea, joining from Serie A champions Inter Milan.
Both Ronaldo and Lukaku were among the finest players in Italy last season, with Ronaldo scoring 29 goals in 33 league games for Juve, while Lukaku hit 24 in 36 appearances to fire Inter to the title.
Crooks commented on the pair and insists he’d put money on Lukaku out-scoring Ronaldo this season after seeing the way he’s improved.
“If I had to make a choice of playing Ronaldo or Lukaku at centre forward there would be no contest. It would be Lukaku every time,” Crooks said.
“Granted Ronaldo is 36. However, there is a touch of irony in the fact that Lukaku used to play for United and scored some magnificent goals but was never loved by their fans and certainly not in the way Ronaldo is.
“It will also be interesting to see who scores more goals, although I put my money on Lukaku. His two against Aston Villa were the clearest indication I have seen of how the Belgian striker’s game has developed.
“His hold-up play against Liverpool was impressive but his ability to run away from the ball and trust the pass was outstanding. Lukaku is now the real deal.”
On Ronaldo, the pundit added: “I haven’t seen an atmosphere like this since Manchester United’s Treble-winning season. As one United fan put it to me, ‘I’m going to Old Trafford to see the return of the king.’
“Well, the king didn’t disappoint. I’ve seen Ronaldo have better games and score better goals but, at 36, with the attention placed on the five-time Ballon d’ Or winner and level of expectancy, it was a masterclass.”
Whoever scores more by the end of the campaign, these signings have been huge for United and Chelsea and will make their fans feel they can both put up more of a fight in the title race this term.