There used to be a time when each season of the Premier League would begin with Manchester United clearly being the team to beat. But for a brief spell during the mid-noughties when Arsenal's Invincibles and Mourinho's Chelsea stole the spotlight and United transitioned from Fergie's Fledglings to Rooney and Ronaldo, Old Trafford had been a destination for trophies for nigh on two decades. Then, Sir Alex Ferguson retired and it all went belly-up. Until now.
United's 4-0 season opening win over West Ham was a return to normal service after quite a long gap and for some very crucial reasons. Unlike Louis Van Gaal's first season in charge, when the likes of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao came in from the continent for big bucks, the big signings of Jose Mourinho's second season have proven Premier League experience.
While Nemanja Matic settled into midfield with consummate ease, the biggest positive was Romelu Lukaku's two debut goals. For a club the size of Manchester United, challenging for titles on multiple fronts is the norm, and this isn't quite possible if there isn't a player who can be depended on to supply 20+ goals per season.
So United have their main striker. At 6 ft 3 in, and having scored 168 senior goals for club and country already by the age of 24 Lukaku is statistically better off than another famed United centre forward, Ruud van Nistelrooy was at the same stage, that too, with the latter having played mainly in the comparatively lower rated Dutch Eredivisie.
But how does his record compare with other top United goalscorers from the year 2000 onwards at a similar age?