How to stop Romelu Lukaku: Get in Chelsea striker’s ear, tell him he’s rubbish, hit him and have the game of your life, says Arsenal legend Martin Keown

Romelu Lukaku has proven difficult to stop this season, but Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes there are ways to stop the prolific striker.

After re-joining the club for £97.5 million in the transfer window, Lukaku has scored four goals in as many games, giving Premier League and Champions League defences nightmares.

Lukaku stole the headlines again on Tuesday evening
Lukaku is currently in formidable form for Chelsea

Only Liverpool have denied him from adding to his tally this season, with Tottenham Hotspur aiming to become the next team to stop him.

During his career, Keown faced several formidable strikers, including record Premier League goal scorer Alan Shearer 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 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.

Keown dealt with some of the best strikers in the world throughout his career
He relished the psychological battles

“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.”

In August’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, Reds centre-back pair Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk marshalled Lukaku very well and prevented him from doing any harm to their goal.

Throughout the match, Van Dijk and Matip suppressed the Belgian. On every occasion one of the two centre-backs acted as the ‘aggressor’ as they pushed up to prevent the forward from building any momentum.

With Keown’s advice and Liverpool’s blueprint, defences across the league will hope they are able to put a plan in place to stop the top scoring striker.