(Reuters) - Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku believes he has nothing to prove to his critics and deserves more respect for his goalscoring record.
Lukaku cancelled out Willian’s opener and set up midfielder Jesse Lingard to score the winner in Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over champions Chelsea at Old Trafford.
The Belgian international has scored 13 league goals this season, four in the Champions League and four in the FA Cup, but has been criticised for not being effective against the bigger teams in England.
“You expect a bit more respect but it’s the situation we’re in,” Lukaku told the club’s website (www.manutd.com) after his first goal against a top-six side in seven games this season.
“I started playing when I was 16. Year in, year out people expect 20 goals from me. I have been doing it for 10 years straight so I think I’ve proved myself.”
Lukaku joined United in the close season after scoring 25 league goals for Everton in his final campaign on Merseyside. The 24-year-old enjoyed a bright start to his United career before going off the boil towards the end of last year.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (24), Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (23) and Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero (21) and Raheem Sterling (15) have moved ahead of him in the race for this season’s golden boot.
“I’m 24 and I have a lot of years ahead of me to improve before my prime so I’m never satisfied,” Lukaku said.
United return to league action with a trip to Crystal Palace next Monday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond