Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku Shouldn’t Start In The Derby

Romelu Lukaku hasn’t started in Manchester United’s last three games and the Red Devils have won all of those three fixtures.

That includes a vital Champions League victory over Italian champions Juventus in Turin.

Man United boss Jose Mourinho has stated that the Belgian forward has missed the last two outings due to an unspecified injury and also suggested he could still miss Sunday’s derby game against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City:

‘[Romelu Lukaku] is injured for tomorrow and we don’t know for Sunday’

Let’s say that the £75m striker regains his fitness, should he start in the big Premier League clash? 

I’m not sure he should, if I’m being honest.

Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez has started to show good things now that he’s playing through the middle. His work rate and ability to drop deep could give the other two attackers space to run into.

Youngster Marcus Rashford will also feel that he’s done enough to deserve his chance playing as the club’s main striker. The England hitman managed to grab a goal against City last term and he scored the late winner of AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

On the lefthand side of the front three, Anthony Martial has really upped up his game recently. The twenty-two year old has scored five goals in his last four league games, that includes a brace against high flyers Chelsea. His form has been rewarded with an international recall from Didier Deschamps for Les Bleus. Martial might be playing on the left wing but the Frenchman has been United’s best forward so far this season.

Ultimately we’ve got to remember that even before his injury, Lukaku wasn’t having the best of times in-front of goal. The powerful forward hasn’t hit the back of the net in his last nine United appearances. His confidence has been at an all time low and I doubt throwing him in during such an important derby game would see him return to form.

I also don’t think it would be smart man-management from Jose Mourinho to just throw him back in at this stage. That wouldn’t keep the likes of Sanchez or Rashford happy and they’ve been decent in recent weeks.

You then have to worry about Lukaku’s fitness. We aren’t sure what’s wrong with the Belgian international but if it’s kept him on the sidelines for two games, then should you throw him straight back in for a high pressured game? That could see him suffer an early set-back if he’s being rushed back to quickly.

All in all, I just can’t see the reasoning behind starting Romelu Lukaku on Sunday even if he’s fit enough to start. He’s probably not fit enough, his confidence isn’t high and others have been better when given the chance to lead the line.

He could be an ideal super sub, especially if the Man City defence are tiring!

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