'With 55 staff supporting him?' – Neville struggling to understand why Lukaku feels overweight

The former Manchester United captain was baffled by the Belgian striker’s poor preparation for the new Premier League season

Gary Neville has admitted his confusion over Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku’s recent comments on his struggles with his weight.

The Belgium international has claimed that he believes his form has been hampered by the extra muscle mass that he gained in preparation for the World Cup in Russia over the summer.

Since returning from the tournament, the 25-year-old has struggled to recapture the form that saw him score 27 goals in all competitions last season.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football , United legend Neville questioned both the player and the club’s coaching staff.

He said: “I struggle with the weight thing and maybe that’s just because of how I was as a footballer.

“You could never take a chance with preparation. You could play badly, you could give goals away, you could make mistakes, you could miss chances, whatever type of player you are, these things happen in games. But, actually, don’t take a chance with preparation.

“Do I turn up every morning? Do I eat the right things? Do I go into the gym at the right times? Do I follow the programme?

“You can argue whether he has got the right programme and then you start to question your coaching staff and things like that, but I really do question that.

“In the modern age when you have 55 staff supporting every team, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, I struggle to understand how a player can be allowed to feel like he has too much muscle or is overweight. Particularly when he’s fit.”

Lukaku has suffered a much-maligned start to his campaign, enduring a 12-match goal drought in all competitions for United between the end of September and the beginning of December.

Since breaking his duck in the 2-2 draw with Southampton, the forward has spoken out about his efforts to slim down, and found the net in United’s 4-1 win over Fulham at the weekend.

Despite scoring against the Saints, Lukaku was dropped for Arsenal’s visit to Old Trafford a week ago, and has struggled to hold down a regular starting place in the face of competition from Marcus Rashford.

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