Jose Mourinho gave a positive update on Romelu Lukaku’s injury in his pre-match press conference before United travel south to take on Brighton for the first time at their Amex Stadium.
He confirmed he was ‘positive’ that the Belgian striker, who hobbled off in last weekend’s victory over Arsenal, would be able to line up at Wembley against his former employers Chelsea in the FA Cup final, as per talkSPORT.
That would represent a massive boost to United, who appeared to lose fluency and their way after his departure last Sunday.
Lukaku, alongside Jesse Lingard, has taken his game to new levels this season, with his link up play, as well as the expected goal ratio, both outstanding.
United will surely be reticent to risk aggravating further injury by pushing him too hard, particularly in Friday’s fixture against Brighton, with the final in mind.
That would open the door for comparatively marginalised duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to stake their claim for a starting berth, should Lukaku not recover in time for the season’s finale.
Both should be chomping at the bit at the prospect of leading the line for United and it also represents a perfect audition for next season, with much of the goalscoring burden placed on Lukaku’s broad shoulders.
Positive rumours surfaced this morning that United want to tie Rashford down and give Martial a gig down the middle, should he choose to stay, next season.
Friday night can be the first glimpse of that, then all eyes will hopefully be on Lukaku in the quest to down his former club later in the month.