Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has admitted that he has been left surprised with the start Romelu Lukaku has made for The Red Devils, with the Belgian scoring another in Saturday's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
"Knew he would score a lot, just not this quick "
Lukaku came to Old Trafford this summer having already built an excellent reputation for himself during his four years with Everton that saw United fork out £75 million for the Belgian's services.
Many will have expected Lukaku to have hit the ground running during the early days at the Theatre of Dreams, but his current record of 11 goals in ten games is beyond some fans' wildest expectations for the 24-year-old.
Lukaku added his 11th goal of the season on Saturday as he rounded off the win over Roy Hodgson's side. The powerful striker matched Andy Cole's record of seven goals in his opening seven Premier League matches with the goal and Mata who opened the scoring stated that he didn't expect Lukaku to hit the ground running so quickly.
"It's a lot of goals," Mata admitted about Lukaku's start. "Especially when you come to a new environment."
"I knew he would score a lot," he stated. "But I didn't know he would do it so quick, that's true."
"He gives a lot more to the team, too, but for a striker it's important to score," the Spaniard proclaimed. "Especially when you see other strikers are scoring and I believe that is what he feels."
"He has started really well," Mata added. "And he has been a key part to our good start to the season."
"Lucky to have him"
Unsurprisingly Lukaku is one of the many Red Devils that have been selected for international duty. Another is defender Chris Smalling who will have the chance to work with another elite striker while away with The Three Lions.
It is currently Lukaku who leads the Premier League top scorers table but he is closely followed by Tottenham's Harry Kane. Despite a slow start to the campaign Kane has exploded in the month of September with 13 goals for both club and country and Smalling stated that his delight working with two of the best strikers in the business.
"There aren't many players that you can compare either of them to," Smalling told Sky Sports. "I think I am lucky that I have got Rom at United."
"And, when we come away with England," the defender stated. "If I can do my job and stop the goals going in."
"It is inevitable that we are going to score at least one or two up top," Smalling concluded. "I think they are two strikers who have got near enough the full package, which makes them so successful."