Romelu Lukaku overtakes Didier Drogba for Premier League goals: Does he deserve more credit?
Romelu Lukaku scored his 105th Premier League goal against Watford
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 16/09/18 7:51am
We break down the statistics behind Romelu Lukaku's scoring record after his goal helped Manchester United to a 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Belgian has been in prolific form lately, scoring four times in his first five Premier League appearances of the season in addition to three goals in two games with Belgium during the international break.
Of course, his scoring feats are nothing new. Lukaku's close-range finish at Vicarage Road took him to 105 Premier League goals across his spells with Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Manchester United.
He has now overtaken his former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba in the Premier League scoring charts, so does he deserve more credit?
Manchester United record
Lukaku was criticised at times during his first season at United, not least when he only scored once in 12 appearances between October and December, but a final total of 27 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions represented an impressive return.
Sixteen of them came in the Premier League, and he has now taken that total to 20 in 39 appearances across the two seasons. At Manchester United, the only players to reach that milestone in fewer games are Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Dwight Yorke.
It places him in esteemed company and means he has achieved the feat quicker than either Wayne Rooney, Andy Cole or Dimitar Berbatov.
More goals than Drogba
Lukaku has now scored more Premier League goals than Drogba and the Ivorian is not the only notable name he has left in his wake. The United striker has amassed a higher total than Van Nistelrooy, Emmanuel Adebayor, Dennis Bergkamp and Fernando Torres, to name a few.
Man Utd halt Watford charge
Manchester United inflicted a first defeat of the Premier League season on Watford as they won 2-1 at Vicarage Road.
If he continues at his current scoring rate, it will not be long before he jumps above Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Ian Wright and Steven Gerrard.
His numbers are all the more impressive when you compare them to those of his contemporaries. Since the start of the 2012/13 season, when Lukaku joined West Brom on loan and became a regular Premier League starter for the first time, only Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane have scored more goals.
It is notable that Kane, widely regarded as one of the world's best strikers, has only scored five more Premier League goals than Lukaku.
One of the best for his age
It is easy to forget Lukaku has achieved all this at the age of just 25. In fact, the striker only celebrated his 25th birthday a few months ago. The only players to have scored more goals by the age of 25 years and 144 days old are Michael Owen, Rooney, Kane and Robbie Fowler. Even then, their totals are only separated by 12 goals.
Can he sustain it?
The question for United is whether he can sustain it. Owen, Rooney and Fowler were all thrilling talents in their younger years but they struggled to sustain their scoring rates as they grew older.
Will Lukaku head the same way? The Belgian has already amassed more than 400 senior appearances for club and country, and his importance to both is such that he rarely misses a game. It remains to be seen how much that workload will affect him in the future. For now, though, United can be confident he will send many more records tumbling. Perhaps then he will get the recognition his record deserves.
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