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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Zlatan Ibrahimovic no threat to Romelu Lukaku at Man United - Gary Neville

Gary Neville says Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not a threat to Romelu Lukaku as the Manchester United striker continues to struggle for goals.

Lukaku began his United career with 11 goals in his first 10 games following a £75 million move from Everton in the summer, but the 24-year-old has scored just once in his last 11 appearances and missed a golden chance during the second half of the 4-2 win over Watford on Tuesday.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand said this week that Lukaku is struggling to deal with the added pressure of competing with Ibrahimovic.

But fellow ex-United defender Neville told Sky Sports: "I don't see Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a threat to Lukaku at all but as a supplement. The only way Ibrahimovic can become number one is if the aura of Zlatan gets to Lukaku.

"Zlatan is confident but Lukaku is number one, the fans and the manager believe in him and if he does have any demons then he needs to clear them from his mind."

Neville feels Lukaku "has to deliver" in United's upcoming Premier League clashes against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Romelu Lukaku during Manchester United's Premier League game against Brighton.
Romelu Lukaku has been struggling for goals of late.

United, who sit second in the table, have two huge league games coming up, with a trip to fourth-placed Arsenal on Saturday followed by their clash against leaders City at Old Trafford the following week.

"I don't think Jose Mourinho will be worried about Romelu Lukaku's lack of goals, but I think ultimately he's got two big games coming up," Neville said.

"He was brought in to score goals in the games which United were drawing last season. However, it is in the big matches where they now need him most. If there is a way to get at Arsenal and Manchester City then it is by really going at their defences.

"For a striker, it is all about your goals and unfortunately, people will always measure him by that. But away from the goals his contribution has to be big, to mess their centre-halves about.

"He's had his struggles but ultimately that was always going to happen at some point after his blistering start, but this is a critical stage of the season where he has to deliver."

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