Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Romelu Lukaku could make his first-team comeback when United host Derby County in the FA third round on Friday night. The Belgium international suffered a head injury during the goalless draw versus Southampton, and United’s medical staff have since been monitoring his condition.
Speaking after United’s 2-0 league win over Everton, Mourinho confirmed that the striker has no problem after his clash of heads with Jack Stephens, and he could play some part during the Cup outing versus the Rams, he told Sky Sports:
“Romelu is not a problem, maybe Romelu can play [on Friday].It was precaution by the doctor, who was following the rules to protect the situation, but Romelu was in the dressing room and never lost his memory, he knew what happened [against Southampton].”
In the absence of Lukaku, Anthony Martial was pushed into the central striking role, and the Frenchman duly delivered after he opened the scoring versus Everton with a well-directed shot from outside the box.
Despite Derby’s impressive run in the Championship, United should start as clear favourites for the Cup encounter, and the manager could persist with Martial upfront, with Lukaku probably on the bench.
Marcus Rashford have been in an average run of form of late and the Friday night game could be the perfect platform for him to excel, though Mourinho and United will want to avoid a replay at all costs.