Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness believes Manchester United should have offloaded Anthony Martial instead of Romelu Lukaku at the time of the Belgian’s Old Trafford exit in 2019.
After just two seasons at United, which featured 42 goals in 96 appearances, Lukaku was sold to Italian heavyweights Inter Milan for £74million after becoming uncomfortable at the club and wanting to leave.
Whilst the decision seemed like a good one for all parties involved at the time, Lukaku, who recently returned to the Premier League, re-joining Chelsea in a £97.5million deal, took his game to a whole new level in Italy, scoring 64 goals in 95 outings for the club, as well as helping them win the Serie A title last season for the first time since winning it under Jose Mourinho back in 2010.
His form for Inter last season, which saw him net 30 goals in 44 appearances, has, of course, forced Chelsea into shelling out a club-record transfer fee for his services.
Now, however, former Liverpool defender Souness has described United’s decision to sell Lukaku when they did as a “mistake,” insisting Martial should have been sold instead.
“I’ve always maintained that Manchester United made a mistake in letting him leave and keeping Anthony Martial instead and their scoring statistics suggest that’s the case,” Souness told The Times.
“Lukaku scored 64 goals in 95 games in two seasons at Inter; Martial’s 78 for United are spread across seven seasons and 259 games.
“Lukaku was an easy target who came for big money into a team with no real direction of where they were going.
“The signings were hit and miss and so was the football they were playing. He must have felt unloved to leave Old Trafford.”