Jose Mourinho has hailed Romelu Lukaku for embodying the attitude he wishes to instil at Manchester United during his side’s 2-1 win over Watford.
The Belgian netted his fourth Premier League goal of the season in a first half at Vicarage Road which saw the visitors dominate.
In the second half Lukaku held the ball up superbly to take the pressure off his defenders, and produced a tackle on the touchline which epitomised his relentless work ethic.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho made a point of how Lukaku’s work rate resembled what he wanted to see from every United player.
Mourinho: “His (Lukaku) tackle after a 70 metre run and make a sliding tackle in a right back position, says everything about him and says everything what i want from my team.” #mufc [BT]
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) September 15, 2018
Not every touch or pass is perfect. Not every shot goes in. That, you suspect, will come with more experience at this level. It can be difficult to forget that Lukaku, now ahead of Didier Drogba on Premier League goals, is still just 25.
Hardwired into Lukaku’s veins, however, is a sense of responsibility and a sheer force of will which Mourinho adores. The sheer physical and mental demand of fighting for every loose ball, anything which comes your way, on top of looking to score for 90 minutes, cannot be underestimated.
There is a clear reason why Mourinho refers to Lukaku as his sergeant on the pitch.