Romelu Lukaku would fit well into Man United's attack to replace Zlatan
With news that Manchester United have agreed a fee of £75 million with Everton for Romelu Lukaku, it seems that Jose Mourinho might be about to acquire a player already well-suited to the demands of the Premier League.
There was a great deal of speculation around United's interest in Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, a forward of elite talent, yet Lukaku can also claim to be one of world football's finest young attackers. He looks set to reunite with Mourinho, who first showed interest in Lukaku when Mourinho was manager of Real Madrid -- an advance rejected by Lukaku's father, who believed that the move for the then-teenager would be too soon -- and first sent him on loan to Everton at Chelsea in 2013 before selling him a year later for £28m.
Mourinho clearly has kept a keen eye on his progress since then. Lukaku's goal-scoring exploits have attracted the attention of even the most casual observers.
So how well would Lukaku suit Manchester United?
The striker seems to have all the tools he needs to succeed. With youth on his side -- he only just turned 24 -- he has established himself as one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
He has scored 53 times in 110 appearances in the competition and, though primarily left-footed, is comfortable finishing with his other foot and with his head. He has already played 57 times for Belgium, for whom he has scored 20 times, and is already a seasoned professional, having begun his career with Anderlecht at age 16.
Boasting very good technique -- several of his solo strikes have shown a player with exceptional balance -- he has a superb shot from distance as well as sharp instincts in the penalty box. To add to all of that, he adds a substantial physical presence -- standing 6-foot-3, the same height as Paul Pogba -- and has impressive acceleration. In short, he has the complete range of skills.
If there are any question marks, they might be over his ability to score consistently against the very best sides.
However, though Everton are a very good side, Lukaku has not yet been paired with a passer of the quality of Pogba. This should be the key partnership of United's attack.
One of Pogba's favourite passes is the angled ball from right to left, floated over the centre-backs into the inside-left channel. It's a run that Lukaku could find himself regularly making, given that the ball would be falling directly onto his favoured foot.
With Lukaku operating through the middle, too, United would have far greater pace on the break than they had with Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season. The thought of Lukaku counterattacking with any mix of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan alongside him is an exciting one for United supporters.
Lukaku's addition would immediately give United not only greater mobility in attack, but greater certainty in their finishing. He has scored 20 goals or more in each of Everton's last three league seasons, a record that earns him a favourable comparison with Harry Kane.
But he is not merely a static target man. He is capable of dropping wide to either flank to excellent effect. Lukaku's attributes are such that United do not have to alter their style of attack too much from how they were playing with Ibrahimovic. They can do pretty much everything that they did with the Swede, just at a much higher tempo.
The challenge will not be getting goals from Lukaku, but in enabling a greater output from United's other forwards. That is a problem that Mourinho will have firmly in mind and he will not wish to go straight from dependency upon one forward to dependency on another. So Lukaku's work off the ball will be absolutely key.
Hopefully, too, his arrival will prove to be a welcome new level of competition for Martial -- with him and Rashford, United will have three of the most gifted forwards in Europe aged 24 and under, allowing them to remain a competitive force for years to come.
Taken together with Pogba in midfield and Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in defence, Mourinho looks to be building the foundations of another excellent United team and marks a superb continuation of this transfer window.
There is more work to be done, but with Lukaku seemingly on the way, this is a day when United fans can begin to imagine a future of great possibility.
Musa Okwonga is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow on Twitter: @Okwonga.