Lukaku praises 'level-headed' Rashford despite competition for Man Utd starting role

The Belgium international was forced out of the team by the 21-year-old after starting 12 out of 17 Premier League games under Jose Mourinho this term

Romelu Lukaku says he is not surprised by Marcus Rashford’s recent success for Manchester United and has heaped praise on his “level-headed” team-mate, despite the pair competing for a starting role.

Lukaku started 12 of United’s opening 17 Premier League games under Jose Mourinho, but was only named once in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first eight league line-ups as the Norwegian preferred Rashford at centre-forward.

However, the former Everton striker has had a more regular run in the side in recent weeks, often starting alongside Rashford – who netted six times in Solskjaer’s first eight league games in charge.

And Lukaku insists he is not surprised by Rashford’s form, saying: “I expected it from him to be honest, with the qualities that he has, the work that he’s been doing on the pitch,” in a video posted to the club’s Twitter page. 

“He is a level-headed young guy and he already knows what he wants, so I’m really happy with the performances that he is delivering for the team.”

United’s form has taken a considerable upturn since Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager, leading to the Norwegian being appointed as permanent boss last month. 

Despite Lukaku’s initially reduced role under the former Red Devils forward, the Belgium international lauded the new manager’s impact. 

“He helped me a lot,” Lukaku added. “On the pitch, off the pitch, from advice about my positioning to how to hit the ball and stuff like that.

“Every training session is really offensive-minded and it really helps us a lot and I think you can see the results.”

United’s improved form has taken them into a fierce battle to finish in the top four with the Reds currently sitting in sixth place, just three behind Tottenham in third and two points behind Arsenal and Chelsea in fourth and fifth respectively.

“It’s exciting, but you’d rather play for the league than play for the top four,” Lukaku admitted. “So for us, we’re in that situation right now and [we have] to make the best out of it and finish as high as we can. And then build for the future.”

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