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Any Thoughts on The Rooney vs Lukaku Swap?
A Look at the Careers of Rooney and Lukaku
Wayne Rooney burst onto the soccer scene in 2002 when he made his first appearance for Everton as a fresh-faced 16-year-old. Rooney spent two seasons with his boyhood club, scoring 17 goals in 77 appearances before Manchester United bought him for £25.6 million.
Rooney flourished at Manchester United and became a cult hero. After scoring 253 goals in 559 games for United, Rooney became the Manchester club’s all-time leading goalscorer, beating Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record by a staggering 215 games.
Romelu Lukaku started his career with Anderlecht in his native Belgium where he scored 41 goals in 98 games before Chelsea bought him for €12 million rising to €20 million. It turned out to be a poor move for Lukaku as he only made 15 appearances in a Chelsea shirt and never scored, leading to him being loaned to West Bromwich Albion (17 goals in 38 games) and Everton.
After scoring 16 goals in 33 games for Everton, the Toffees paid a club record £28 million for the Belgian and he went on to find the back of the net 71 times in 133 appearances.
Both Rooney and Lukaku have become regulars for their international teams. Rooney has made 119 appearances for England and is now the most-capped outfield player ever for England and thanks to scoring 53 goals, is England’s all-time leading scorer.
Lukaku may be seven-years Rooney’s junior but he has already been capped 57 times by Belgium. The now Manchester United striker has 20 international goals to his name although the majority of these goals have come against weaker teams.
Rooney or Lukaku? Who Would You Want in Your Team?
Manchester United allowed Wayne Rooney to return to Everton on a free transfer, partly so Everton could afford to pay Rooney’s massive wages, which are reported to be £300,000 per week.
Despite this huge salary, Rooney could be one of the bargains of the century not only because he is a proven goalscorer at the highest level, but the fact he is hugely influential to those around him. One also needs to consider that Rooney is hungry to return to the England team with the FIFA World Cup 2018 on the horizon. If Rooney can get games under his belt and return to playing how everyone knows he can, he could be an important player this season.
Jose Mourinho said of Lukaku that he is the type of player who turns draws into wins, yet only four years ago, when he was the Chelsea boss, Mourinho was happy to allow Lukaku to leave. There is no doubting that Lukaku has pace, is powerful and an immense finisher, but doubts remain over his ball control and how he plays against the better teams; only four of Lukaku’s 32 goals in all competitions last season came against teams finishing in the top four of the Premier League
Some say that Rooney is past his best, but that is partly because Mourinho refused to give him game time at Manchester United last season. You will not find many people who will argue that Lukaku has bags of potential, but whether he can reach that potential is another matter. There have been those who have commented on Lukaku’s lack of commitment during training and games, yet here he is commanding a £75 million transfer fee for his services.
English Premier League Top Goalscorer Odds
According to Bovada, Wayne Rooney is going to be nowhere near the top of the goal scoring charts this season because their futures betting odds price the Everton forward at +6600. Compare this to the pre-season favorite Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane at +275 and you can see the lack of faith Bovada is putting on Rooney scoring regularly. While I do not believe Rooney will challenge for the Golden Boot, which usually needs 25 or more goals, I do believe he is capable of scoring 15 goals this season so if you can find a bookmaker who will offer lines on that market, take them.
In stark contrast to Rooney’s odds on being the Premier League top goal scorer, Lukaku is the second-favorite before the aforementioned Kane.
Lukaku is +400 to score the most goals of any player in the league this season and that does seem like a shrewd bet, not only because he has been there or thereabouts for the past couple of seasons, but the quality of service he will receive from his new Manchester United team mates should be better than when he was at Everton. The main doubt comes from whether or not Lukaku can handle the pressure of being one of the world’s most expensive soccer players.
We already know that Kane is the bookmakers’ favorite to top the scoring charts, but what about a couple of outside bets? One player to look at is Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. The 20-year-old Brazilian scored seven league goals in 10 appearances last season before injuries cut short his campaign. Another would be Arsenal’s new signing Alexandre Lacazette.
The French striker has scored 27, 21 and 28 goals in his past three league seasons in France, with him bagging 28 in 30 games last season for Lyon. Yes, the Premier League is a different beast entirely, but Lacazette is capable of continuing his amazing form now he is in England.
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