Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise of summer signing Romelu Lukaku despite his poor form with the Red Devils of late. The Belgium international notched 11 goals in his first 10 appearances for the Mancunian giants, and he had to wait for another eight games before finding the scoresheet against Newcastle United last weekend.
In the lead up to the Brighton game, the United great spoke fondly about Lukaku, who he has labelled as an animal in the box, he told BT Sport: "Lukaku, when he’s on form, is an animal. He’s difficult to play against. If you get the right ball into him, he’s going to score goals. His record up until now, as a young player in the Premier League, has been nothing short of great."
Lukaku failed to score a goal during United's surprise 1-0 defeat to Basel in the Champions League, but he is nevertheless guaranteed a starting spot with Mourinho recently stating that the Belgian's position is 'untouchable' with the Europa League holders. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the mix, Mourinho is likely to rotate his forward options, although it is yet to be seen whether the Swede can replicate the success of last season, where he notched 28 goals across all competitions for United.
United have lost ground on Manchester City by eight points after the first 12 games of the season, and Mourinho will be determined to avoid dropping points against the likes of Brighton and Watford as they face tricky games versus Arsenal and City themselves heading into the month of December. Meanwhile, United have received a boost on the injury front with Marcos Rojo playing the full 90 minutes during the defeat at St James Park. The Argentine is likely to prove a valuable asset in the first-team considering Eric Bailly and Phil Jones struggles with niggling injuries, and he could play an extended role during the festive period.