Mourinho: Lukaku can't rest until Ibrahimovic returns

Arnold Nichols
October 3, 2017

The sight of Paul Pogba limping away from Manchester United's return to Champions League action against Basel in early September had many a Reds supporter anxious, particularly when it was Marouane Fellaini called upon to take the Frenchman's place.

"He's injured. He cannot play tomorrow (against Crystal Palace) and it's not an injury that I can have the hope like I can have with Jones or Antonio Valencia", Mourinho told MUTV.

Jose Mourinho praised the growing influence of Juan Mata following Manchester United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Roberto Martinez's Red Devils have already qualified for the World Cup so it might be a chance to take things easy on Lukaku, whose role for Mourinho's Red Devils will be far more important until Ibrahimovic returns from his long-term knee injury.

"With them, I have the hope to see them training and to have a positive answer [on their availability]. Long-term injuries I don't speak about them", Sport24 quoted Mourinho as saying.

Manchester United depended heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to get the goals previous year and while Lukaku has taken over the burden of being the man's target man with aplomb, the rest of the team have been chipping in with more goals in the current campaign.

Complaining of "disrespect to the club", Mourinho said: "I just think it's unusual because in every country the decisions are made to protect the clubs and here that doesn't happen".

The £90m summer signing made it 10 goals in his first nine United games with a brace in Wednesday's 4-1 victory at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and is set to start again today. The opposition is not the problem.

However, a recent report from the Telegraph has claimed that the Frenchman may not be ready to return until after the November global break. "I always thought that he was not to leave, he wants to stay", he said.

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