Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku for his influence on the team, labelling the £75m signing as "absolutely incredible".
Lukaku has come under a lot of pressure as of late for not finding the back of the net regularly enough. While the media has been climbing on the former Everton attacker's back for his performances, Mourinho has nothing but praise for Lukaku - despite his goal scoring drought.
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And things remain that way, after it was highlighted that the 24-year-old has played 90 minutes in 20 successive Premier League matches - and the Portuguese manager was quick to praise his player:
“I think for any player to play 90 minutes in 20 Premier League matches is absolutely incredible." Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference ahead of United's encounter with Southampton this weekend (via the club's official website).
The boss on Romelu Lukaku: “Now, it is 20 [consecutive] matches in the Premier League [for him]. I think for a striker, for any player, it’s absolutely incredible. The guy is fantastic for me and the team, and he gives absolutely everything, I have no criticisms.” #MUFC pic.twitter.com/dcBlPjsX54— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 29, 2017
"I have to be very grateful for his personality and for his character. He was in the picture, I'm not saying he was a direct influence, in some of the last goals we conceded. It's a consequence of a player who really needs a little rest. But he's fantastic for me and the team."
The United boss was then asked whether or not supporters can expect to see Lukaku paired up front with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the reply being a definite yes - but only if both players are at their best:
"It can happen but for it to happen, they both need to be in their best moment and they are not. One is not because the situation in this team didn't allow him to have any rest and Zlatan is a man with an incredible injury.
"We did that against Burnley and we will do that in some more matches if we need to do it, but I think we really need them to be at their best level."