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17 July 2017

Jose Mourinho experiments with Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford in Manchester United’s first potent strikeforce since Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole

JOSE MOURINHO is ready to give Manchester United their first potent strikeforce since Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.

Mourinho plans to use his time out here in the United States to experiment with Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford up front.

Marcus Rashford and Romellu Lukaku might hope to emulate the famous Utd partnership of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku might hope to emulate the famous Manchester United front-partnership of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
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Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke formed a lethal partnership for Manchester United under Alex Ferguson
Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke formed a lethal partnership for Manchester United
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Last season the Red Devils boss played mostly with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his own up top.

That meant England starlet Rash was pushed out wide left of a three behind a lone striker.

It is not his favoured position as he thrives on playing down the middle.

The move lead to a dip in form for the 19-year-old, who made such an impact following his debut in February 2016.

He scored eight goals in  18 games that season — but was down to 11 in 53 last campaign.

And he suffered a goal drought between September 24 and January 7.

Jose Mourinho will try out an exciting new partnership in the USA - as Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford battle for regular places
Jose Mourinho will try out an exciting new partnership up front in the USA – as new boy Romelu Lukaku and starlet Marcus Rashford battle for regular places
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Marcus Rashford will; hope to regain a regular starting place at Old Trafford
Marcus Rashford will hope to become a first-choice starter at Old Trafford
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But Mourinho can see a way of getting the best out of Rashford with Lukaku alongside.

It would mean playing a 3-5-2, the formation he used in both halves of the 5-2 win over LA Galaxy in United’s opening tour match on Saturday night.

Rash played alongside Juan Mata in the first half and scored twice — and could have had a hat-trick.

In the second half Lukaku played with Anthony Martial but failed to find the net.

Mourinho said: “In this game Rashford was in a different team than Lukaku, we will also try both in the same team which I think can also work.”

Rashford does not turn 20 until Halloween and looks an even greater physical presence now than when he first broke into the team.

Romelu Lukaku tussles with LA Galaxy and ex-England star Ashley Cole as he aims to impress on tour in the US
Ex-Everton frontman Romelu Lukaku tussles with LA Galaxy and ex-England defender Ashley Cole as he aims to impress on tour in the US
Alamy

The Special One said: “You change your body when you’re a young kid. He’s taller than when I arrived 13 months ago.

“He’s over an inch taller and has put on some muscle but without any kind of specific work because his speed is his most important quality.”

It is a mouth-watering prospect for United fans, who have not enjoyed a prolific strike partnership since Cole and Yorke hit 53 goals between them in the historic 1998-99 Treble-winning season.

Mourinho played 3-5-2 in both legs of United’s last-16 ties against Rostov in the Europa League — and it worked.

Captain Michael Carrick was delighted with how well two up front worked in United’s opening game in LA.

The 35-year-old veteran said: “Two up front worked well in both halves.

Romel Lukaku has reunited at Man Utd with his ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho
Romel Lukaku has reunited at Man Utd with his ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho
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“We’ve got games coming thick and fast and this is the time you want to try things.”

Carrick is convinced Lukaku will deal with the extra scrutiny that comes with being a United player following his move from Everton in a £90million deal.

The midfielder said: “We all know exactly what he brings. Obviously he’s been brought here to score goals.

Manchester United beat LA Galaxy 5-2 on their tour of the USA

“He’ll be judged like anyone else on what he does through the season and I’m sure he’s ready for that.

“The scrutiny and everything will go up a level from what he’s used to.

“I found that coming from Tottenham. It’s a massive jump.

“But I’m sure he’s prepared and I’m sure he’ll do well.”


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