£250,000-a-week player is a weakness in Man Utd’s attack — Explains Paul Parker

Lukaku MUFC

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker feels Romelu Lukaku is the Red Devils’ main weakness as they look to compete in the Champions League this season.

Lukaku has made a strong start to his United career with five goals across all competitions, but Parker believes that the Belgium could be sparingly used in the knockout stage of this season’s competition.

Writing in his Eurosport column, Parker has doubts whether the £250,000 a-week player can find success playing in the Champions League due to his relative inexperience and inability to change his style of play.

“There’s a few players in that United squad who have very little experience at this kind of level, particularly in the attack: Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial spring to mind,” he said.

“Lukaku worries me a bit as the most important thing in Champions League football is ball retention and to kill the game, especially if you get a goal in front. Patience is vital. He doesn’t strike me as that kind of player – at least at the moment.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is due to return to first-team action in the New Year, and Parker firmly believes that the Swede will be picked ahead Lukaku, should United reach the knockout phase of the competition.

He added: “That’s why I think Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) could play a bigger role in Europe than he does in the Premier League this season. If he comes back in November, December or January – whenever it may be – then when United start the knockouts in February, providing they make it, it will be Ibrahimovic who leads the line and Lukaku will be on the bench, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Irrespective of Parker’s opinion, Lukaku is expected to lead the line for United when they make their Champions League group stage bow against Basel tonight. The Belgium international has not featured in the competition since his time at former club Anderlecht – for whom he scored in a playoff round defeat to Partizan Belgrade in August 2010.

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