Last season, Manchester United struggled to score goals due to a lack of finishers, with a 12% chance conversion rate last season, by far the lowest percentage of the Premier League top 6.
Now, Mourinho suddenly has to find room for three quality strikers.
Many now see Rashford as the odd-man out. Will Mourinho be able to fit the English international into the rotation to keep his development from suffering? Certainly Mourinho will need to give Zlatan time, for the eccentric Swede won’t take kindly to sitting on the bench as a traditional backup. Meanwhile, the expensive Lukaku was brought in to lead the charge.
So how will Mourinho negotiate the congestion? Manchester United was blessed with a cushy Champions League group, so it’s likely they will have European play to navigate well into the season. In addition, the domestic cups provide more chances to get players on the field. Nevertheless, playing Burton Albion and Basel won’t go a long way towards keeping Rashford or Ibrahimovic in good spirits.
One of the most difficult jobs of a soccer manager – or a coach in any sport, for that matter – is finding high-quality backups but also ones that will accept the limited playing time that comes with being second-fiddle. Now, Mourinho must figure out a way to keep the two big names happy while also not stunting Rashford’s growth. Developing talent isn’t exactly the United boss’s forté, so it will be a season-long storyline how he decides to split time between the three.