Pre-season friendlies: From Romelu Lukaku to James Rodrigues, how have the biggest movers fared

The big clubs have been busy building their muscle ahead of the upcoming football season. They have splashed the cash behind the finest talents in the world as they aim to outgun each other when the action begins in August.

Serie A giants AC Milan have led the way with eight new signings this summer, while Premier League side Manchester United have made the costliest purchase when they acquired Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a massive fee of £75 million. Wayne Rooney who spent 13 years at United went the other way to return to his boyhood club. James Rodriguez's loan move to Bundesliga top gun Bayern Munich from La Liga behemoth Real Madrid was the other big move to happen this summer, apart from Leonardo Bonucci swapping AC Milan for Juventus, Chelsea's swoop of Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko, Arsenal's signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette and Mohammad Salah's transfer to Liverpool.

Fans are excited at the prospect of these superstars shining for their new clubs, and some of them have already appeared for their teams in a few pre-season friendlies. Here's a look at how these big movers performed in their first few outings for their new teams:

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku made a disappointing performance on his Manchester United debut. AFP

Romelu Lukaku put up a disappointing performance on his Manchester United debut. AFP

Manchester United fans across the globe would have had their eyes glued to their television sets when they played LA Galaxy in the first of their pre-season friendlies in the US. The match was a friendly and had little importance apart from ramping up the fitness levels of the players. But the inconsequential match gained prime importance for United supporters as Lukaku was slated to make his bow. They were made to wait for 45 minutes as the Belgian came on as a half-time substitute. However, he failed to impress as he missed a one-on-one chance and fluffed many efforts from outside the box.

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez impressed on his debut against Werder Bremen in the Telekom Cup. Twitter/@FCBayern

James Rodriguez impressed on his debut against Werder Bremen in the Telekom Cup. Twitter/@FCBayern

The loanee from Real Madrid had a lively debut with the German giants as he starred in their 2-0 win over Werder Bremen in the Telekom Cup, which Bayern won. After the match, Rodriguez expressed satisfaction over his first few minutes with the German giants.

"I'm very happy," he said after the Bremen game. "I feel good, but I've only been here for five days. I'll slowly get fitter and fitter. That's what the trip to China is for. We played two decent games, but what matters is winning major titles. We'll work hard to make sure we do."

Wayne Rooney

Rooney enjoyed a dream start to his second spell at Everton as he scored a 30-yard stunner in the Tofees' 2-1 win over Tanzanian side Gor Mahia. Rooney’s official return for Everton will be at home to Stoke City on 12 August.

Mohammad Salah

Mohammad Salah scored on his Liverpool debut in the 1-1 draw against Wigan. Twitter/@LFC

Mohammad Salah scored on his Liverpool debut in the 1-1 draw against Wigan. Twitter/@LFC

Like Rooney, Salah too made a perfect start to life at Merseyside. After his £36.9 million switch from AS Roma, the Egyptian was handed a start by Jurgen Klopp and he made it count by scoring on the stroke of half-time. He was later substituted at the lemon break as Liverpool failed to hold on to the lead, allowing Wigan to get a creditable pre-season draw.

Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette scored withing 15 minutes of his Arsenal debut against Sydney. AFP

Alexandre Lacazette scored withing 15 minutes of his Arsenal debut against Sydney. AFP

Alexandre Lacazette was also among the stars who impressed on their debut. After signing him from Lyon in the summer, Arsene Wenger handed the French forward his first appearance. The £52 million summer signing came on as a second-half substitute and scored within 15 minutes of entering the pitch as the Gunners eased to a 2-0 win over Sydney FC.

In the second game, Lacazette was handed a start, but the forward failed to have the same impact. After an uninspiring performance, he failed to get on the scoresheet despite Arsenal winning 3-1 against Western Sydney Wanderers.


Published Date: Jul 17, 2017 07:49 pm | Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 08:13 pm


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