Romelu Lukaku is fortunate to have worked with some of the finest strikers in the business, but the Manchester United striker credits Thierry Henry as being “the best thing” to happen to him.
The Belgium international was brought to English football by Chelsea and had the opportunity to learn from the likes of Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Those lessons have helped to turn him into one of the most fearsome frontmen in world football, with United prepared to part with £75 million this summer in order to secure his services.
He will soon get the chance to pick the brains of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford, with the Swede having committed to a new deal, but for now Lukaku admits that working with Arsenal legend Henry while away with his country has offered the greatest benefits to his game.
The 24-year-old told NBC of his time with the Frenchman, who is an assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez: “Henry is the best thing that has happened to me because since I came to England aged 18 I have had the best mentors.
“I have had possibly the five best strikers of the last ten years as mentors.
“I had Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and now, Thierry Henry. That’s not bad, is it?
“It is the best thing that could happen in my career because I am a young guy.
“Thierry for me is the best. Every day whether it is positive and negative I take it in my stride because I know what is expected from the top level.”
Lukaku added: "Working with him in Belgium I really take my time with him asking questions, I don't take him for granted, I sometimes ask him questions for two hours.
"I will get the information that I need and take it on board."
Henry’s words of advice, and Lukaku’s desire to achieve continuous improvement, clearly appear to be working.
The burly frontman has opened his spell at United with four goals in three competitive appearances, with Real Madrid, West Ham and Swansea unable to keep him out.
Lukaku will be hoping to keep that run going when Leicester City pay a visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, with the early Premier League leaders aiming to build on back-to-back 4-0 victories.