Jose Mourinho has hailed the mentality of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian’s recent goalscoring record has dropped significantly from the start of the season, when he netted 11 times in his first 10 games for the club following a £75m move from Everton in the summer.
But Mourinho focused on his workrate in a Man United shirt. He earned a corner, somewhat controversially as the ball appeared to come off him last, as he continually pressed and chased down Brighton & Hove Albion’s defenders in Saturday afternoon’s 1-0 win.
“In the last minute he was fighting and running back like he was in the first minute, so I think it is also a mentality question,” Mourinho told reporters after the game at Old Trafford.
“The way Romelu wins the corner for the goal, the way Romelu ends the game making tackles in the left-back position – that is the mentality I want. Unfortunately, not every player is the same. Players are men, men are different. Men are unique cases.
“Some guys are capable to go into the limits of their efforts and some other guys even with a lot of talent, they don’t manage to do that. So Romelu, for me, [is] fantastic. Didn’t score, I don’t care.”
Mourinho has consistently insisted goals is not all he’s looking for from Lukaku, and so it’s only fair to accept his answer of ‘I don’t care’ when Lukaku is indeed out of his usual goalscoring form.
The 24-year-old had a blistering start, and has been a victim of United’s recent mediocre form, seeing much less of the ball and far fewer chances created by his teammates in wide areas and further back.