Rio Ferdinand not convinced by Romelu Lukaku’s hold-up play after Chelsea beat Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand not convinced by Romelu Lukaku’s hold-up play after Chelsea beat Arsenal
Rio Ferdinand not convinced by Romelu Lukaku’s hold-up play after Chelsea beat Arsenal
Romelu Lukaku delivered an impressive display as Chelsea sealed a 2-0 win over Arsenal (AFP via Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Romelu Lukaku’s hold-up play away from goal still needs to improve following the Chelsea striker’s impressive performance against Arsenal at the weekend.

Chelsea have made a huge statement of intent by re-signing Lukaku in a £97.5 million deal from Inter earlier this month and the Belgium international has made an immediate impact with a commanding display in the 2-0 win against the Gunners on Sunday.

Lukaku scored Chelsea’s opener and gave Arsenal centre-back Pablo Mari a torrid time throughout the whole match.

Ferdinand has branded Mari’s attempts to control Lukaku an ’embarrassment’ and has criticised Arsenal’s poor methods in dealing with Chelsea’s new striker.

But the former Manchester United defender is excited by the prospsect of Lukaku’s battle with Virgil van Dijk this weekend as Chelsea face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.

‘I still think Lukaku’s hold-up play outside of the box sometimes leaves a bit to be desired,’ Ferdinand said on Vibe with FIVE.

Romelu Lukaku scored Chelsea's early opener in their victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium
Romelu Lukaku scored Chelsea’s early opener in their victory at the Emirates Stadium (Reuters)

‘But when you play the ball into him in and around the box, my man’s touch is like glue.

‘He bullies people, he was like a sixth former playing against first years, that’s what he made the Arsenal centre-backs look like, they didn’t know how to deal with him.

‘[Pablo] Mari was an embarrassment, he didn’t know what to do.

‘The way they defended against him… where’s Per Mertesacker or someone like that who’s in the building? Please tell them what to do.

‘Before the game starts you tell them, ‘do not get into a physical battle with him, sometimes let him have a touch of the ball then you hit him, if you let him grip you he’s going to roll you and control the whole situation’.

‘He could’ve scored three or four goals if the ball had bounced right.

‘It’ll be interesting next week when we see him against [Virgil] Van Dijk, someone who can handle physically, someone who will match him set for step for pace, and who’s cute, who’s an intelligent defender.’

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Author: Metro Sport Reporter