Craig Burley calls on Jose Mourinho to drop Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea clash

by Leo Nieboer

Pundit Craig Burley has called on Jose Mourinho to drop Romelu Lukaku for Manchester United’s clash with Chelsea on October 20.

The Belgian striker enjoyed an impressive opening campaign at Old Trafford, scoring 27 goals in all competitions ahead of a successful World Cup during which he netted four times.

But Lukaku has come under criticism in recent times for his profligacy in front of goal; he has not scored in six games, missing big chances along the way.

And Burley, speaking to ESPN, claimed that Lukaku was not doing enough to merit a place in the starting XI.

“He’s one of a number of United players that, once Mourinho goes, will have to be outed by the new regime,” he said. “Whether that be a sporting director or a new manager.”

“He’s a good player but, watching him lately, he’s not making the right runs. I wouldn’t call him a clever striker – he’s big and powerful and gets his ratio of goals. But it’s against the weaker teams.

“If he’s not playing well and not making the runs, Marcus Rashford is a natural striker. Yes he’s young but he’s an international, he’s got experience, he’s quick, he’s clever, he’s not frightened to try anything.

“If Lukaku is not cutting it then Mourinho will have to get him out of the team.”

It is a fact of life that you will push yourself harder when there is competition as opposed to none. If you were running a 100m race against friends of a relatively equal ability, you will, I guarantee, run faster than if you just did it on your own.

More pertinently, though, Lukaku is losing an edge by playing on a week-in-week-out basis as one of Mourinho’s untouchables. He needs to be broken out of that cycle. And with Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all waiting in the wings, Mourinho can hardly say there is no competition for the depleted Belgian.

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