Legendary Manchester United’s striker – Andy Cole has advised Jose Mourinho to tailor his team to suite the strength of striker – Romelu Lukaku just as Jurgen Klopp has done with Mohammed Salah at Liverpool.
Salah has been in staggering form, following his switch from Roma last summer. He has scored 43 goals in all competitions; he won both the FWA and FPA awards and added the Premier League golden boot to his collections last weekend.
However, Cole claims that all credit should go to the Liverpool boss – Klopp for building his team around the Egyptian. He believes that if Mourinho adopts such tactics, at United, Romelu Lukaku will be as influential at United as Salah is for the Reds.
“Lukaku’s had a massive season,” said Cole. “He’s been consistent and he’s not had the opportunity to have much rest, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic being injured and then moving on.
“So this season he’s done really well to get 27 goals, in a team that doesn’t create many chances. But I still don’t believe, when I watch him play, that he’s actually playing to his strengths.
“If you look at the way he played at Everton, to the way he plays now, it’s totally different.
“If he starts playing to his strengths, and taking advantage of what he has as an athlete – his strength and power – and starts running in behind and stretches teams, you’ll get even more out of him.
“If you look at what Salah has done at Liverpool this season, a lot goes through him.
“They play to his strengths. Give the ball to him early doors and he’ll crack on and do what he does and nick a goal. He’s ended up getting 43 goals this season.”
Cole added: “In the modern game now, all the forwards want the ball to their feet.”
“If you look at the game closely, there could be 20 yards of space in behind, but no-one runs in behind.
“But I look at Lukaku and I think to myself, ‘Does anyone really want to chase him?’ I really don’t think so.
So if he thinks to himself, ‘There’s 20 yards of space in behind, I could give some a yard or two and still beat them to it’
“Once he starts doing that and they start doing that… phew!”
“I think he realised, early doors, there are no weekends off playing for United,” added Cole.
“At Everton and West Brom, where he was before, you could have had a weekend off or a couple of weekends off. But when you play for United, there are no weekends off, and I think he appreciated that early on.”
Meanwhile, United play Chelsea in the FA Cup final this Saturday in a game where both sides would be eager to win; to avoid ending the season without a trophy.
In an interview with manutd.com, Cole revealed the United’s player who could influence the game most.
“Oh dear me! Well, if Eden Hazard and Willian play well, it will most probably be our keeper – David De Gea; Cole said.
He has been fantastic this season, winning Player of the Year again. Hopefully, we can get service to whoever plays up front too. If it’s Romelu Lukaku, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Cole scored 121 goals in 275 appearances for United.