Manchester United’s form has been pretty dire recently, with the Red Devils failing to win each of their last three matches. That has led to a huge drop off in the Premier League title race, with an upturn in form desperately needed.
A large portion of that has been down to a lack of goals, particularly from front man Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium international started the campaign in sensational fashion, but the goals have somewhat dried up; although personally, I feel his build-up play has been pretty good.
Anyway, ahead of Manchester United’s game against Southampton, Jose Mourinho was asked about whether he’ll sit out his £75million signing, and the self-proclaimed Special One gave a straightforward answer.
“No, I can’t [give Lukaku a rest],” said Mourinho, per ManUtd.com. “Now, I say 20 matches in the Premier League, 90 minutes [for Romelu]. I think for a striker, for any player, [it] is absolutely incredible. But if you are central defender, if you are a holding midfield player, if you are in certain kinds of positions where you can control your energy and positional play a little bit more, you can resist and survive. “
“But, for a striker in the Premier League, to play 20 matches, 90 minutes, I have to be very grateful for his personality and for his character. He’s been unlucky in our box in recent matches. He was in the picture, I’m not saying he was a direct influence, in some of the latest goals we conceded. It’s a consequence of a player who really needs a little rest or just a consequence of the moment of the occasion. But the guy is fantastic for me and the team and gives absolutely everything and I have no criticisms.”
As he says, it’s incredible that Lukaku has been an ever-present for United thus far, but there certainly are times when it’s best to sit someone out for a game or two, just to reignite that fire in their belly.
I guess the only problem for Mourinho is the fact that his only other option at the moment is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who himself hasn’t looked anywhere near his best – given the fact that he’s only just come back from serious injury, we can give him the benefit of the doubt.
Southampton at home will not be easy on Saturday, so the Red Devils will have to keep working hard, keep fighting and put in a quality performance to secure all three points.