Dimitar Berbatov hopes Romelu Lukaku remains a Manchester United player and called on the Belgian’s team-mates to help him improve.
Since completing an €84m transfer from Everton in 2017, Lukaku has scored a respectable 42 goals in 96 appearances for United in all competitions.
Performance-wise, though, the 26-year-old has struggled to take his game up to the next level at Old Trafford. In fact, some argue that he’s stagnated over the past year amid concerns over his fitness and technical ability.
Therefore, Lukaku could be on his way out of United this summer for a big-money move to Inter Milan.
Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte, who tried to sign Lukaku while in charge of Chelsea, is a big admirer of the Belgium international and would love to bring him over to the Serie A.
But Berbatov, who scored 56 goals in 149 games for United, wants Lukaku to spurn the advances of Inter to continue at the club.
“I think he should stay,” the ex-Red Devils striker told Sky Sports.
“I like him, I don’t agree with all the criticism he’s getting — yes he has some areas which he need to work like every other player.
“But his teammates need to help him as well.
“For example, if I’m a midfield player and I play with him, I will know how to pass him the ball, when to pass him the ball, on which foot to pass him the ball. This is what your teammates need to know, how to play with you.”
Former Belgium coach Georges Leekens reckons Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival triggered Lukaku’s United struggles. The Norwegian coach has favoured Marcus Rashford over the former Chelsea man as his main centre-forward.
However, Berbatov believes Solskjaer could actually be the right guy to help Lukaku raise his game.
“I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a good coach for him because if Lukaku wants to ask the coach something, he can go and ask him, because Solskajer was a good striker,” continued the Bulgarian.
“So if you need striker’s advice, you go to the coach.”
An unfit Lukaku will sit out of United’s International Champions Cup (ICC) opener against Inter Milan this afternoon.
The encounter will take place in Singapore, with kick-off set for 13:30 (CET).