Romelu Lukaku did not travel with Manchester United for their game at Bournemouth on Saturday, with reports stating he was unhappy about being left out of the starting lineup for the win against Everton last Sunday.
However, Jose Mourinho has explained the main reason for Lukaku not being in the squad for United’s game on the South Coast.
“In training yesterday, after the press conference, he felt something that needs to be studied in the next couple of days. So Lukaku has not come and we decided to start with Alexis,” Mourinho said.
So, that’s that, right?
Hmmm. Mourinho citing an injury to Lukaku just a few days after he dropped him and questioned his recent performances is a little fishy. However, Mourinho had every right to do so as Lukaku has now failed to score in his last nine games for the Red Devils, while his hold-up play and overall performances have been below par.
Reading between the lines, Lukaku can be far from happy having his credentials questioned in public after being dropped to play against his former club, Everton, especially as the Toffees’ fans don’t exactly laud him for heading to United. The fact that United played well against Everton with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack will have proved Mourinho right to drop Lukaku and he may face a battle to get back into the team as a regular over the next few weeks.
In the coming days we will find out exactly what is going on with Lukaku and Mourinho behind-the-scenes, but it appears the Belgian forward is far from happy with being left out of the starting lineup. After a big summer at the World Cup with Belgium, it appears some fatigue may be setting in for Lukaku who has scored 31 goals in 65 games in all competitions for United since arriving from Everton last year.