This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to The Athletic, former director of football at Everton, Steve Walsh, has revealed he urged Jose Mourinho not sign Romelu Lukaku for Manchester United.
The Belgium international had enjoyed a fine career at Goodison Park with Everton, scoring 87 goals and providing a further 29 assists in 166 games across all competitions. His form led to him sealing a £75m move to United in the summer of 2017, but has now made his departure from the club just two years after joining.
Walsh has now revealed that he explicitly warned Mourinho over the dangers of the then United boss making a move for the centre-forward, and also criticised the signing of Paul Pogba too.
He said: “When Jose signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton, I remember saying to him, ‘You have to be careful with Lukaku. He is a big baby, you know’. He said he could handle him. I don’t think he really got Lukaku on-side mentally, which you have to do.
“That is the case with him and Paul Pogba. They aren’t my type of players. They are more about themselves than the team. I wouldn’t have touched them. Because they are good players doesn’t mean you are going to get a good team out of it.”
As United have been witness to over the past few months, the transfer sagas surrounding both Lukaku and Pogba certainly shine a light on the kind of personalities that they originally signed. The former went on a podcast with NBA star Josh Hart to slam his old club this summer, while the latter has expressed multiple times that he would be open to leaving Old Trafford too.
The Red Devils to their credit have seemingly begun a rebuild that doesn’t appear to focus on their high-profile stars as much, with the departure of Lukaku in particular showing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to take a new direction. If they can end the Pogba drama too, then they really can move forward and forget about looking back at the past.