Romelu Lukaku is capable of setting a new record at Manchester United and topping Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31-goal Premier League haul in his first season, says Mikael Silvestre.
The Portuguese forward took five years to hit that mark at Old Trafford, with a memorable 2007-08 campaign seeing him find the target 42 times in all competitions.
Lukaku remains some way off emulating those feats, but the £75 million striker has enjoyed a positive start to his time with United – netting 11 times in 10 appearances.
Seven of those efforts have come in the English top-flight, and the 24-year-old is being backed to continue terrorising defences and write his own piece of Red Devils history.
Silvestre, speaking to 888sport, said: “Lukaku can beat Ronaldo’s scoring record in season one.
“It would be a big statement, personally for Romelu and the team as well. It would mean a lot and obviously mean they are in the race for the title.
“We are just in October and a lot can happen until the end but he can carry on.”
While tipping Lukaku to be the main man for United this season, Silvestre concedes that he will need support.
The likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are offering that at present, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic preparing to step back into the fold.
The enigmatic Swede, who netted 28 times for the Red Devils in 2016-17, is set to return in the near future after recovering from knee surgery and penning a short-term contract.
Former United defender Silvestre added on Jose Mourinho’s pool of attacking talent: “Clearly the number one striker is Romelu but then the bench – and especially Zlatan – can have a big impact if you are still fighting for the four trophies.
“There will be a time when Romelu needs to rest because so far he’s played in every game. Zlatan will have a role to play but obviously not as much as last season.
United have made an unbeaten start to their 2017-18 campaign, with Stoke the only side to have denied them victory in 10 outings to date.
They will be back in action on Saturday, with Mourinho’s men taking in a trip to Anfield to face old adversaries Liverpool.