Lukaku won’t be rested until Zlatan returns

‘Barca higher level than Man Utd’ – Pochettino

Romelu Lukaku will be unable to take a breather until Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to action, admits Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

Lukaku has already established himself as a key figure in United’s hopes of Premier League and Champions League success after netting 10 times in his opening nine games.

But the Belgian has become so valuable to the cause that Mourinho cannot afford to hand him a rest, despite the fixture demands of playing in Europe.

With Ibrahimovic expected to be sidelined until the turn of the year in his recovery from a knee injury, Mourinho says that Lukaku is likely to be a fixture in the starting XI.

“Look, in here without Zlatan we cannot rotate the striker, especially because Marcus Rashford is playing also in other positions,” said Mourinho.

“So until the moment we have Zlatan, we cannot think about giving rest to our number nine the same way we give in other positions. We cannot do that.”

Lukaku has so far been absent from the starting line-up on just one occasion this season – United’s Carabao Cup win over Burton Albion.