The Manchester United striker was benched in the Premier League earlier this season, much to his own unhappiness
Romelu Lukaku has revealed exactly what happened when he was dropped by Jose Mourinho, with the Manchester United striker left “angry” by the Portuguese’s decision.
The Belgium international was benched for clashes with Everton and Manchester City, playing a total of 58 minutes across the two games, while he was also a substitute against Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Lukaku eventually came on in every game, with United underperforming, though he failed to score.
He has hit the net just four times in all competitions this season, and he has revealed that his conversation with Mourinho has led to him reassessing his own goals as he bids to fire United back into contention in the Premier League.
Asked how he felt when he was dropped, he told Bleacher Report: “I was like, oh wow, sh*t happened, but I really had a conversation with the coach about it and I said ‘listen, it’s been a long year and also with the World Cup, I felt a bit tired’. He saw it. He made his decision.
“He said I didn’t look happy. That I was angry. And I said ‘yeah, hell yeah I’m angry. Like, do you think I should smile?’
“And then we had that little chat and then after that chat we just moved on. It was like 10 minutes, and from then on like you know it opened something in myself, like a new fire to go and get what’s mine.”
Nevertheless, Lukaku has become a trusted Mourinho lieutenant at Old Trafford, having played over 50 games in all competitions last season, scoring 27 goals.
And he insists that he would do anything for the ex-Chelsea and Inter manager to ensure that he is successful.
“One of them, yeah,” he said, when asked if he was Mourinho’s favourite player. “Because I would go through a brick wall for him and he knows that.
“He’s the type of coach where he would be honest with you and tell you how it is, and if you cannot deal with that, I mean, that’s a big problem.
“I mean working under him when I’m 24 is totally different to working under him when I was 19. 20. When I was 19, 20, he was hard on me, man, oh sh*t. The guy was tough – I was doing everything so well but he was still tough.
“But now, 24, I understand him. I understand him now. I became better, I improved as a player.”
Asked why Mourinho was like that with him, Lukaku added: “Because he wanted me to be better. You know, a guy like him, he doesn’t want to compete to be number two or something. He wants to be number one.”
United have struggled so far this season and lie seventh in the Premier League, 14 points behind leaders Manchester City and seven behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
They are next in action this weekend, against Southampton.
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