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Jose Mourinho loves everything Romelu Lukaku is bringing to Manchester United.
The US tour kicked off last week with the 24-year-old completing his big-money move from Everton as United swept in under the nose of former club Chelsea.
Lukaku swapped Stamford Bridge for Goodison Park in 2014 after Mourinho sanctioned the sale of the highly-talented, if raw, Belgium international.
Three years on the pair are reunited at United and the Portuguese loves the way Lukaku has kicked on, with the striker’s overall performance in the 2-1 friendly win at Real Salt Lake meaning more to his manager than his first goal for the club.
“I think it’s just nice for him, but not important for me,” Mourinho said.
“When he came for the water before he scored the goal, I told him ‘I love everything you do on the pitch, don’t be worried about scoring or not scoring because it is not important’.
“He holds the ball the so well, he plays one touch, two touch so well. He moves, he gets behind people, he attacks crosses, he works when the team loses the ball, he presses well.
“I like everything he does.
“For me, it’s easy to feel it because he was my player four years ago or something like that and his evolution was great.
“He’s now a top striker and the goal is just a detail. Not important.”
Lukaku and fellow new boy Victor Lindelof both got another 45 minutes at Rio Tinto Stadium, where Henrikh Mkhitaryan cancelled out Luis Silva’s opener for RSL on a night that saw Antonio Valencia sent off after Juan Mata sustained an ankle injury.
The Spaniard, who is likely to be out for a week, had only just come on as Mourinho named entirely different line-up for the second half, just as he did in Saturday’s 5-2 win at the Los Angeles Galaxy.
That approach will be tweaked slightly when the International Champions Cup that kicks off against Manchester City in Houston on Thursday – the first time the Manchester derby will have been played on foreign soil after last summer’s friendly in Beijing was called off.
Glamour ties against Real Madrid and Barcelona quickly follow, but Mourinho is more interested in his side’s development than winning those matches.
“I will try to go for 60 (minutes), 30 (minutes),” the United boss said of his planned rotation. “Some players they can play 60 minutes against City and then they will play 30 against Real and vice-versa.
“I will try the same. I will try to give minutes to everybody because it’s an important thing.
“With the tactical work we do in training behind closed doors, when we go to matches of course we to try to do things that we train, but it is very important for everybody to compete. We are going to try to do that.
“Obviously the level of Man City, Real Madrid and Barcelona is higher (than our previous matches) – it’s Champions League level, three important teams in the Champions League, which will be a new competition for us too.
“It is good for us and good experiences to play against them.
“I don’t know how they will look to the game. Maybe (Pep) Guardiola, Zizou (Zinedine Zidane), (Ernesto) Valverde will have the same philosophy as us, maybe not.
“But I know that Manchester City is our city rival, I know Real Madrid is European champion, but it’s not so important for us to play for a result.”
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