A host of Manchester United players have answered their manager’s call to cut their holidays short, Jose Mourinho himself confirmed after the Red Devils’ 2-1 win over Real Madrid on Wednesday morning.
Last week, Mourinho had revealed that Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford will be cutting their holidays short to bolster their barebones squad ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign and the Portuguese manager lauded the English duo’s commitment, exhorting others to follow their example.
And it appears that Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku, currently enjoying some well-earned time off in the United States, will be returning early from his vacation as well.
“We will have (Victor) Lindelof who started training two days ago, plus Marcus Rashford, (Phil) Jones and (Romelu) Lukaku because they gave to the group and to the team three days of their holidays so they are coming back three days early to try to be available for the team,” Mourinho told his post-match press conference at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Rashford and Jones’ decision to return early was not surprising as the two hardly played during England’s run to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lukaku, however, was front and centre of Belgium’s charge towards a third-place finish and the burly striker got a lot of minutes under his belt in Russia. His return will undoubtedly be the biggest boost for Mourinho took his United squad for their pre-season tour of the United States without a recognised centre forward.
The former Everton striker had a decent tournament in Russia and fans are hoping he can build on his exploits to better last season’s tally of 27 goals in all competitions.
United will now fly back to Manchester and prepare for their final pre-season tie, a clash against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday night (2345 IST).
Apart from Swedish defender Lindelof, it is unlikely that any of the aforementioned players will take part in the tie against the Bundesliga giants.
Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard (both England), Paul Pogba (France) and Marouane Fellaini (Belgium) are the players that have not cut short their vacation time and hence, will return to Manchester next week only.
The Red Devils open the 2018/19 Premier League season with a home clash against Leicester City on August 10.