Romelu Lukaku: Jose Mourinho sees me as Man Utd’s “sergeant”

Romelu Lukaku: Jose Mourinho sees me as Man Utd’s “sergeant”

Romelu Lukaku has revealed Jose Mourinho sees him as “his sergeant on the pitch” ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool this weekend.

The Belgian forward made the switch to Old Trafford last summer for a reported £75 million from Premier League side Everton, having sought out Champions League football and a better chance of winning trophies.

So far this term, Lukaku has scored 23 goals across all competitions for the Red Devils and has rediscovered his early-season form, having been involved in 11 goals in 11 appearances in 2018.

He demanded ‘respect’ following criticism of his goalscoring record against the Premier League’s top six sides. However, the 24-year-old proved his doubters wrong by producing a match-winning performance against Chelsea by scoring and creating both goals during the Red Devils’ 2-1 win just under a fortnight ago.

Lukaku carried on his good form into Manchester Utd’s 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace as he scored his team’s equalising goal and caused problems for Palace’s defence throughout.

His performances have earned praise from his manager for his contributions to the team as a whole with Mourinho using an army analogy to describe his role on the field.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Lukaku said: “I think the manager in his mind thinks that I’m like his sergeant on the pitch, and that’s strange for a striker because it’s usually the midfielders.”

He added: “I’ve always worked hard and I’m grateful but at the end of the day, I’m a striker and I have to score goals.

“He has been really good but I think he knows I have that soldier mentality.

“I think the work rate I am delivering to the team is a lot and he knows he can come to me whenever. I will always put the team first ahead of myself and that’s something I told him, I said ‘the team is the most important thing’.”

Sergeant Lukaku in the box

Lukaku was instrumental during Manchester Utd’s comeback victory against Crystal Palace, scoring his team’s second goal.

The equaliser came despite only Lukaku having only one shot on goal throughout the course of the match.

It highlighted his instincts in the 18-yard area, with Lukaku scoring all of his 14 Premier League goals from this position and none coming outside the area.

Premier League top-scorers, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah, have identical statistics in this regard – with both scoring 21 goals in the area and three from outside.

United will host Liverpool in this Saturday’s early kick-off, in what is another opportunity for Lukaku to add to his record against the club’s top-six rivals.

A draw would be enough to keep United in second. They have lost only once in the Premier League at Old Trafford all season, to Manchester City in December, having won 11 of the 14 top-flight fixtures played their this term.

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