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Lukaku has developed into a top-class striker, says thrilled Mourinho

 

By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho loves everything Romelu Lukaku is bringing to Manchester United.

The US tour kicked off last week with the 24-year-old completing his £75m move from Everton as United swept in under the nose of his former club Chelsea.

Lukaku swapped Stamford Bridge for Goodison Park in 2014 after Mourinho sanctioned the sale of the highly-talented, if raw, Belgium international.

Three years on the pair are reunited at United and the Portuguese loves the way Lukaku has kicked on, with the striker's overall performance in the 2-1 friendly win at Real Salt Lake meaning more to his manager than his first goal for the club.

"I think it's just nice for him, but not important for me," Mourinho said. "When he came over for water before he scored, I told him, 'I love everything you do on the pitch, don't be worried about scoring or not scoring because it is not important'.

"He holds the ball so well, he plays one touch, two touch so well. He moves, he gets behind people, he attacks crosses, he works when the team lose the ball, he presses well. I like everything he does.

"His evolution is great. He's now a top striker and the goal is just a detail, not important."

Lukaku and fellow new boy Victor Lindelof both got another 45 minutes at Rio Tinto Stadium, where Henrikh Mkhitaryan cancelled out Luis Silva's opener for RSL on a night that saw Antonio Valencia sent off after Juan Mata sustained an ankle injury.

The Spaniard, who is likely to be out for a week, had only just come on as Mourinho named an entirely different line-up for the second half.

That approach will be tweaked when the International Champions Cup kicks off against Manchester City in Houston tomorrow - the first time the Manchester derby will have been played on foreign soil after last summer's friendly in Beijing was called off.

Glamour ties against Real Madrid and Barcelona quickly follow, but Mourinho is more interested in his side's development.

"I will try to go for 60 (minutes), 30 (minutes)," the United boss said of his planned rotation. "Some players can play 60 minutes against City and then play 30 against Real and vice-versa.

"Obviously the level of Man City, Real Madrid and Barcelona is higher (than our previous matches). It is good for us and good experience to play them.

"I know that Manchester City are our city rivals, I know Real Madrid are European champions, but it's not so important for us to play for a result."

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