After eight games without a goal, Romelu Lukaku was dropped by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho for Sunday’s Premier League clash against his former club Everton.
The Belgian striker produced a woeful individual performance against Juventus in midweek, prompting Mourinho to name him among the substitutes against the Toffees.
"Sometimes we decide the best thing for the player is not to be on the pitch, but to be protected, away from the pressure,” the United boss told Sky Sports prior to kick-off.
"And if later he comes into game he can be positive, make a difference and back into normality.
"Romelu can score lots of goals, he is under pressure because he known for that."
This was the first time since joining the Red Devils in a £75 million move from Everton in 2017 that Lukaku has found himself dropped.
But most fans believe it was the right decision to leave him out of the starting line-up. Marcus Rashford was the man who started upfront in his place.
Samuel Luckhurst, the Manchester Evening News’s chief United writer, kept a close eye on Lukaku in the warm-up - and tweeted about an incident he spotted involving the Belgium international.
“[Alexis] Sanchez was the last out to warm up and Lukaku immediately beckoned him over so they could warm up together,” he tweeted. “Sanchez punts a ball in the air for Lukaku to control. He doesn’t.”
Man Utd fans, many of whom have lost faith in Lukaku after his unconvincing performances in recent weeks, couldn’t contain their laughter after hearing the story.
Poor old Romelu. His confidence really is shot to pieces right now.
Still, it surely won’t be long before the 25-year-old is firing again.
A streaky player, Lukaku has netted a reasonably impressive 31 goals in 64 games for United.
With only four goals from 13 games this season, though, the pressure is firmly on United’s No. 9 to rediscover his confidence and scoring touch.
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