Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Romelu Lukaku, with the Belgian coming under fire following a difficult run in front of goal.
Lukaku was in red-hot form in the early stages of the 2017-18 campaign, but the Belgian is now five games without a goal for the Red Devils.
The 24-year-old’s goal troubles against the so-called ‘big six’ have continued in recent weeks, meanwhile, after drawing blanks against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Lukaku did provide the assist for Anthony Martial to score the only goal of the match against Tottenham on Saturday, however, and Mourinho has leapt to the defence of the striker, who has been deemed ‘untouchable’.
Mourinho told reporters:
“I think Romelu is one of the players who should be untouchable in terms of respect from everyone.
“What he does for the team is fantastic and to play football for a striker is not just about scoring goals.
“For me, he is untouchable in my team and I think he should be untouchable in the support and the respect he deserves from the fans.”
Lukaku, who is valued at £63m by transfermarkt.co.uk, will look to return to the scoresheet when United continue their Champions League Group A campaign at home to Benfica on Tuesday night.
Three points could be enough for the Red Devils to book their spot in the knockout round of the competition, although that scenario would rely on CSKA Moscow failing to overcome Basel in Group A’s other fixture.