Man Utd had rare transfer blinder on “woeful” dud, his value has dropped 77% in 4 yrs – opinion

Despite the improved transfer dealings under current boss Erik ten hag of late – namely that of Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez – Manchester United have been renowned for their at times erratic and seemingly scattergun approach to the market.

The Red Devils notably forked out a club-record fee of around £89m to sign Paul Pogba in 2016 after having allowed the Frenchman to depart for nothing four years earlier, before again seeing the midfielder head out the door upon the expiry of his contract last summer.

That rather disastrous ordeal is just one example of the transfer-related mistakes that the club have endured of late, although that’s not to suggest that United have not at least done some good business in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

One deal that now appears to be particularly astute is the sale of striker Romelu Lukaku in 2019, with the Belgian marksman having seen his stock plummet in recent times amid his current woes at Inter Milan.

How much is Romelu Lukaku worth now?

The 29-year-old had initially arrived at Old Trafford on a £75m deal during the summer of 2017, with the imposing asset having been snapped up by Jose Mourinho after scoring 87 goals in just 166 games during his previous spell at Everton.

Despite going on to record a respectable tally of 42 goals and 13 assists in only 96 appearances during his time in Manchester, Lukaku never truly managed to convince at the Theatre of Dreams, with supporters largely not warming to the high-profile signing.

The former Chelsea man was notably criticised by club legend Gary Neville for seemingly being “overweight“, while journalist Samuel Luckhurst was also critical of the striker’s “woeful” finishing.

As such, there were few tears shed when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ultimately sanctioned the struggling asset’s departure for San Siro on a £74m deal – as Neville said he was “delighted” to see the centre-forward move on – with the United hierarchy having no doubt played a blinder to recoup such a hefty sum.

Although the Antwerp-born ace somewhat proved the doubters wrong after subsequently enjoying a prolific spell at Inter over the next two years – scoring 24 league goals to fire Antonio Conte’s side to the title in 2021 – his latest struggles may well suggest that the Red Devils were right to sanction his exit so swiftly.

After sealing a £97.5m return to Stamford Bridge just over 18 months ago, the 6 foot 3 brute went on to score just eight league goals for the Blues last season, having fallen down the pecking order following his bombshell interview with Sky in Italy midway through the season.

With that homecoming failing to work out, the west Londoners allowed Lukaku to return to Italy on loan last summer, albeit with the 104-cap hotshot having scored just two Serie A goals so far this season.

Such has been that rapid decline, the one-time Anderlecht man is now said to be worth just £17m, according to CIES Football Observatory, with that a rather stark 77% decrease in valuation since sealing that £74m exit from United just under four years ago.

With the Premier League giants having notoriously struggled to move players on – with peripheral figure Phil Jones the most obvious example of that trend – the ruthless decision to part ways with Lukaku after just two seasons does appear to be a rare masterstroke for the club.