Romelu Lukaku set Wayne Rooney target by Manchester United gaffer Jose Mourinho


Even so, Mourinho is of the view that Lukaku will continue to benefit from playing in a United side who carry more attacking threat than they did last season.

United won the Community Shield, EFL Cup and, most importantly, Europa League, although Mourinho regularly bemoaned his side's inability to finish teams off.

Everton's bid for Europa League glory starts on Thursday and they have the ideal man to lead them on their quest for silverware.

You would imagine that many of those who held a grudge for the rest of Rooney's time at the club will still greet him warmly; it's water under the bridge and, with United top of the league, fans have more important things to worry about than whether Rooney had asked to sign for City or Chelsea in the past.

He said: "I like him, he works for the team, and always hits the target".

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"Everton have lots of good players, they're a good team and it will be a very hard match for us". "I think this Premier League is much more defensive-minded, and much more hard".

"It's not just about the striker".

"I think, after one year, we are a different team".

"Squads are (there) to try to cope with these kind of situations and we know that for a few matches - I don't know how many, I really can not tell you how many I expect - but we are going to play without Pogba a few matches".

It is the second time Pogba has been sidelined with a hamstring injury this year. "We couldn't be happier (with him)".

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The 31-year-old left United to return to boyhood club Everton this summer after 13 successful years with the Red Devils, for whom he scored a record 253 goals in 559 appearances.

The former England captain was only 18 when he arrived at United from Everton for £25.6m in August 2004, and Mourinho does not believe Lukaku will have the time to match Rooney's achievements.

Another month went by before Rooney was unveiled as an Everton player, the day before it was announced that Romelu Lukaku was heading in the opposite direction.

"That way it is easy because you don't have to think a lot". Not just because we are playing in the Champions League, which is the competition for Manchester United, but because in the Premier League we managed a good start which put us initially in the top positions in the table.

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