Rio Ferdinand wants Romelu Lukaku to improve

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Romelu Lukaku must provide more on the playing field, if he is to cement his position as the Red Devils’ number one striker. The Belgian was recently dropped from the starting lineup for the 2-1 triumph over Everton but in the weekend after, he found himself injured to face Bournemouth where United won by the same scoreline.

In both of those games, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez fared much better in terms of their movement and link-up play despite failing to score and Ferdinand feels Lukaku may need to bring much more than his goalscoring to cement the striker’s position for the long-term, he told BT Sport: “You look at Lukaku. Lukaku’s goalscoring record is up there, it’s fantastic, he scores goals.

“But in the best teams you need more than that. You need to be able to bring other people into play, you need to be able to complement people in your team, things have to be set up off you. “At the moment, in a Man Utd shirt, some things break down in Lukaku. And that affects other players in the team, like [Paul] Pogba and [Jesse] Lingard, who want to play off people.”

Lukaku started the season with four goals from the space of just five matches but he has since gone through a lean patch after failing to score in nine straight appearances. During this period, he has been guilty of missing a number of clear-cut chances and it remains to be seen whether he would return to the fray following his return from an injury which remains unspecified.

Meanwhile, United have made progress following the slow start to the season and back-to-back league triumphs see them within four points off the top-four. Still, they have tough challenges ahead with a trip to Manchester City scheduled for next weekend. Prior to that, Mourinho’s team make the journey to Turin to face Juventus in the Champions League.

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