(Reuters) - Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku believes it is too early to judge him, with the 24-year-old saying he still has plenty of room for improvement as he braces for a return to his former club in Sunday's Premier League clash at champions Chelsea.
Lukaku made a blistering start to his United career following the move from Everton in the close season, netting 11 goals in his first 10 games across all competitions, before hitting a dry patch in which he has not scored in six games.
The run has prompted manager Jose Mourinho to jump to Lukaku's defence twice in the past week, saying the Belgian was an important and untouchable member of his squad.
"I think a lot of people are judging me as the finished article," Lukaku told Sky Sports in an interview.
"I'm 24... you can't judge me as the finished article. I'd rather have a year where I improve, improve, improve, rather than going straight to the top and then declining."
Despite not scoring himself, Lukaku has provided vital assists, including the one that led to Anthony Martial's winner against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, and the Belgian forward says it is an aspect of his game he continues to work on.
"I know I have a lot of talent. I can do a lot of stuff, score goals with my left, right and head. But I want to be a creator... I want to have more assists," he added.
"I want to make sure when my team is having difficulties they can count on me. I'm on the perfect stage and the perfect age. I want to be a winner and take my career to the next level."
United are second in the league, five points behind leaders Manchester City, and travel to fourth-placed Chelsea targeting a first league win at Stamford Bridge since 2012.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)