2018-12-08 by W.M.
Romelu Lukaku Reportedly Concerned About Jose Mourinho, Manchester United Future | Bleacher Report
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Romelu Lukaku is reportedly concerned about his future at Manchester United after being relegated to the bench by manager Jose Mourinho for recent matches.
The Sun’s Mike McGrath reported how the Belgium international “would weigh up a move away from Old Trafford if his spell out of the team continues.”
There’s a chance it might since Mourinho told Lukaku he “is no longer an automatic choice” after United drew 2-2 at home to Arsenal in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Lukaku has started just two of United’s last six matches in all competitions. While he’s come off the bench in most games, the powerhouse centre-forward has lost his place as a lock in Mourinho’s best starting XI.
Inconsistent form in front of goal hasn’t helped, with Mourinho prompted to make changes up top amid the Red Devils’ struggles. However, the manager’s decisions are said to be leaving many of his star names unhappy, with McGrath also naming Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez as players grumbling about Mourinho’s stewardship.
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While Pogba and Sanchez are mercurial talents who have had trouble adapting to life at Old Trafford, Lukaku looked crucial to Mourinho plans. He appeared to be a player the manager could rely on after being an almost ever-present during the 2017/18 campaign.
Things have changed this season, though, with United mired in eighth place and struggling for goals. Mourinho’s men have found the net just 24 times during 15 matches, a major reason they find themselves eight points outside the top four and 18 behind leaders Manchester City.
Lukaku’s patchy form has defined United’s largely turgid football in the final third. He did score in a 2-2 draw at Southampton earlier this month to break a barren spell totalling almost 1,000 minutes.
His goal against the Saints also put the former Chelsea and Everton forward in select company:
⚽️ Romelu Lukaku is 26th on the list of all-time Premier League top scorers with 105 goals, ahead of Didier Drogba, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Dennis Bergkamp. He’s still only 25.
🔴 Is criticism of the Belgian unfair? https://t.co/t7tHKWqm5q
However, an impressive career tally to date can’t mask how much Lukaku has been struggling, particularly on home soil:
😳 Since Romelu Lukaku last scored a home goal for @ManUtd:
⚽ Man City have scored 83 goals
⚪ Real Madrid have had 3 different managers
🇫🇷 Kylian Mbappe has won 3 trophies
🏎 Lewis Hamilton has won 11 Grands Prix
❌ A long drought. https://t.co/UBVBLX2BP3
The contrasting numbers sum up a striker who is difficult to define. Lukaku has the coolness of a natural finisher but lacks the technique to be an intuitive link player.
His inability to thrive in a collective game has held United back, but there is still reason to believe Lukaku can be a hit at Old Trafford. He’s a more effective centre-forward than Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or Sanchez, provided he keeps his game simple.
Lukaku has the pace to spin in behind and stretch defences, as well as the physical power to outmuscle markers and bully teams in the air. The 25-year-old can be prolific with the right supply, namely a healthy number of crosses into the box and accurate long passes over the top.
It’s up to Mourinho to gear his team’s approach to Lukaku, not the other way around. If he does, Mourinho will find the player he paid £75 million for last summer is still a striker he can rely on.