Martin Keown: The only way to stop Lukaku is to tell him he’s rubbish

Martin Keown: The only way to stop Lukaku is to tell him he’s rubbish

This season, stopping Romelu Lukaku has been difficult, but Arsenal icon Martin Keown feels there are ways to stop the prolific striker.

Lukaku has scored four goals in as many games since rejoining the club for £97.5 million in the summer window, causing Premier League and Champions League defenses nightmares.

This season, only Liverpool has prevented him from adding to his record, with Tottenham Hotspur aiming to be the next team to stop him.

Keown has faced some formidable forwards in his career, notably Alan Shearer, the Premier League's all-time leading scorer, and Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy, so he understands the threat Lukaku poses.

“When you’re playing against him, every single ball is a contest,” former Arsenal defender Keown told talkSPORT, giving an insight into what defenders might be thinking.

“I don’t want him to hold on to me to feel me, I wouldn’t want to get too tight but I’m going to hit him. Come two or three yards back, and when I hit him, I’m going to hit him with everything.

“I’m going to be in his ear as well, I’ve got to tell him he’s rubbish, it’s all hype, you’re playing against me today, you’re not going to get that kind of space.

“You can’t let him build into the game and then when it comes, you’re going to [need] to have the game of the season, by the way, physically you’re going to have to be up for it.

“He is fantastic in the air, we see the goal he scored in midweek, he’s got everything to his game and he is super confident so you’ve got to make him feel this is different today.

“I’m a little bit different to the rest and I am going to make it tough for you.

Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk marshaled Lukaku well in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield in August, preventing him from causing any harm to their goal.

Throughout the game, Van Dijk and Matip kept the Belgian at bay. Every time, one of the two center-backs served as the 'aggressor,' pushing up to stop the forward from gaining any momentum.

With Keown's advice and Liverpool's template, defenses throughout the league will seek to devise a strategy to stop one of the league's leading marksmen.

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