Gary Neville believes Romelu Lukaku does not have the sufficient mobility or confidence to merit a place in the starting XI against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Belgian recently admitted his poor performances for Manchester United this season could be explained by fatigue following the World Cup in Russia.
His goal against Fulham over the weekend was the first time he had scored at Old Trafford since March – and was only the second time he has found the net since September.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville opined that Mourinho should omit Lukaku at Anfield, where he has not scored since 2012.
“No. No, I’d go with the mobility,” he said. “I’d go with the ones that have been playing.”
“I think the Lukaku who played at the World Cup for Belgium could make this team easily, but the Lukaku who has played for Manchester United this season is lacking confidence.”
Lukaku profited from United playing relentlessly in Fulham’s half over the weekend, using players nearby to engineer space in the box, but Anfield will be a very different prospect indeed.
The 25-year-old rarely succeeds in big games away from home, where Mourinho surrenders possession and seeks to play on the counter. Using Marcus Rashford in that role would be the natural thing for Mourinho to do – especially with the youngster recently showing a sense of raw confidence which, alas, has eluded Lukaku since the summer.