Premier League 18/19: Should Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford be trusted to lead the line for Manchester United?
Manchester United are a team expected to deliver silverware every season. So Jose Mourinho will be under enormous pressure to get the Premier League title back to Old Trafford.
One of the problems was the goalscoring. Romelu Lukaku played 34 matches in Premier League but scored only 16 goals. In his last season at Everton, he scored 25 goals, nine goals more than this season.
His lack of goals against the quality sides is a big concern for United. Critics were vocal in saying that he does not score goals against the big teams, especially "the big-six" of the league but Jose stood by his no. 9 unlike what he did when they both were in Chelsea. He may not have had a great first season but it wasn't a bad one either.
Marcus Rashford, the other striking option is made to play at the left-wing position which is clearly not one of his favourites. He drifts too deep and ends up being on the right-backs spot.
Anthony Martial can be deployed at the front but whether he stays at United is a big question. After the arrival of Alexis Sánchez in the winter transfer window, Martial's game time has decreased further.
He was in good form before Sánchez's transfer announcement, he scored the only goal of the game against Burnley - scoring in a third consecutive Premier League game for the first time in his career but the doubts are looming over his Manchester United's career since then.
Another option for Jose Mourinho is to use Alexis Sanchez up front but he will probably want the no. 7 to play at his prefered position.
Romelu Lukaku needs to be backed by Mourinho
Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United last season from Everton in a deal worth £75 million. Belgian-forward was a proven Premier League striker when he joined United but there were doubts that whether he can deliver for a big club like Manchester United.
In 50 appearances for United last season, he scored 26 goals and made 7 assists. He was a crucial part of United's plan to go further in Europe as he scored 5 goals in 8 Champions league matches.
Lukaku has turned himself into a ruthless and strong striker who can dribble pass through defenders and has the ability to beat them with his strength. A league has a lot of matches and even Harry Kane has a dry patch from time to time! So, it is important that Mourinho backs the Belgian to shine for United.
Lukaku had an amazing start to his career at Old Trafford after scoring 11 goals in first 10 matches but has been the subject of much criticism after going several games without scoring a goal.
Romelu has been a constant leader of the line for his teams, whether club or country. He is in red-hot form in this World Cup, scoring 4 goals in two matches. He has also scored more goals (seven) than any other Belgium international across World Cups and European Championships combined.
He is also the first player to score two goals or more in consecutive World Cup matches since Argentina's great Diego Maradona in 1986. Already Belgium's all-time top goalscorer, Lukaku's record now stands at 40 goals in 71 caps for his country.
Generally, Mourinho does not like to set up his team with two strikers and buying another centre-forward will mean that Lukaku would have to share minutes with his new teammate. At 25 years of age, he is just about to enter the prime of his career so it will be important that Mourinho continues his faith in his no. 9 and give him the maximum game time he can.
Patience will be the key for Marcus Rashford
Rashford is a big prospect for United as he possesses every trait a talented young footballer wants. He has already shown his capabilities for both club and country. He is fast, agile and has a fantastic shooting ability.
For most parts of the season, he either started at left-wing or came on as a substitute. He scored 7 goals in the 35 Premier League appearances, 18 of which were as a substitute.
Rashford broke through the first team and has been one of the fans favourites. The club fans always want their player to do well especially if they have come through their own youth system.
United's playing style under Jose Mourinho have been conservative which restricts Rashford from expressing himself completely but being young, he should have the mindset to learn different aspects of the game.
He was used at the front when Lukaku was injured but failed to impress. Those games showed that his quality comes when he is able to run behind defenders but lacks the strength and movement when oppositions play with a deep back line.
There were talks that Rashford could leave United in a loan deal but Mourinho said that he won't allow Marcus Rashford to go out on loan next season for the simple reason that 'he impresses me'.
With time on his side, Marcus Rashford still deserves his chances and it seems evident that he is a part of Mourinho's future plans. Only time will tell how much Rashford will develop but again, patience is key for the player.
Will Romelu Lukaku be able to carry on his form for Belgium to the Premier League? Have your say. Tell us in the comments below!