Romelu Lukaku says he was inspired to join Manchester United after watching Paul Pogba complete a world-record transfer last year.
The Belgium international striker finalised his switch from Everton on Monday for a reported initial fee of £75million.
Lukaku, who lives in Manchester, admits that he has long considered the prospect of what it would be like to play for United whenever he has passed Old Trafford.
And the 24-year-old says Pogba’s £89.3m move from Juventus in 2016 “triggered something” in his mind and made him long to experience something similar.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 10, 2017
“Paul is one of my best friends and my neighbour so we’re together on a daily basis,” he told MUTV. “Last year, when he signed for United, to have witnessed that, it really triggered something in my brain in that, if the chance would occur one day, I wouldn’t say no.
“I would like to say that at the end of my career I played for a team that always challenged for trophies. I won’t take this opportunity for granted.
“I live in Manchester and I’ve passed Old Trafford many times. One night, I said to my mum that I have a certain feeling I’ll play here one day. Every time I played against them, I just felt like a child, with the atmosphere, the fans.
“The history, the players that play for the club, the way the club is always hungry to win trophies is something I was searching for. It’s the perfect opportunity to make the big step.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) July 10, 2017
“I want to thank my agent [Mino Raiola] and former club Everton for making sure the deal happened before pre-season. I can get to know the players and how they play. I worked under the manager but it’s a fresh start with him. It’s good for me to get to know the way of things at Manchester United.”
Lukaku played briefly under United boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and he says the prospect of linking up with the Portuguese is the aspect of the transfer that he is most looking forward to.
“That’s the most exciting part,” he said. “Me and him have a really good relationship. I dreamed of playing under him since I was 10. To be part of his plans for challenging for trophies is exciting. He’s a manager who will help us to win trophies.
“I’m a really calm person but on the pitch I become a warrior. I want to score as many goals as I can, become a better player and work harder than ever before. I want to improve constantly, I want to become better every single day.”
Romelu Lukaku in the #PL:
2012/13 – 17 goals
2013/14 – 15 goals
2014/15 – 10 goals
2015/16 – 18 goals
2016/17 – 25 goals
2017/18 – pic.twitter.com/cUvISMR9zQ
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 10, 2017
Lukaku will also realise his dream of playing in the Champions League next season and he is confident that United can challenge to win the competition.
“Finally! I’ve been a pro for eight years and never had a taste,” he said. “I always said I wanted to play in the Champions League group stage. I want to see how it is.
“Obviously the World Cup and Euro 2016 was really nice but I always dreamed of the Champions League. We can challenge every year to win the Champions League. The club is in a building process and the manager is doing the right things to take the club back where it belongs.”
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