Romelu Lukaku Likely to Be Fit for FA Cup Final, Says Jose Mourinho

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2018

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku gestures as he leaves the field at half time during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 29, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho thinks Romelu Lukaku is likely to be fit to take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final despite suffering a foot injury on Sunday. 

The Belgian had to be withdrawn in the 49th minute in United's 2-1 win over Arsenal, but Mourinho is hopeful he'll be fit to play on May 19, per the Associated Press (h/t MailOnline):

"I don't think it's something, or I hope it's not, that in this moment keeps him immediately out of a game that is in three weeks' time. But I don't know. 

"He wants to play all the time. He is never tired and, when he has small things, he doesn't care. He still wants to go. So, for him to say immediately, to change him, it is because he couldn't play."

As Football.London's Charles Watts noted, the source of Lukaku's injury was a strong challenge from defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, who was making his Arsenal debut:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Mavropanos has just ended Lukaku's afternoon. Heavy tackle round the striker's ankles. He limps off, replaced by Rashford.

The 24-year-old is United's top scorer this season having netted 27 goals in all competitions, including five from as many FA Cup appearances.

Lukaku also has nine assists, which is the best return of his career in English football over the course of a single campaign.

Sport Witness' Tom Coast remarked on the striker's excellent delivery during the Arsenal win:

Tom Coast @thcoast

Imagine all the goals Lukaku would score if he could cross it to himself.

It makes Lukaku a multi-faceted threat in the final third and speaks to the improvement he has shown in linking up with his team-mates since his arrival at Old Trafford.

United are 11 points clear of FA Cup final opponents Chelsea—who occupy fifth placeafter Sunday's win. Both sides have just three Premier League games remaining, so United are assured of a UEFA Champions League place.

As such, it matters relatively little if Lukaku is unable to feature in their final league matches, but United have a much better chance of beating the Blues at Wembley Stadium if he's in the side.

The striker will be eager to find the net against his former team, and he has almost three weeks to recover ahead of that meeting if he needs them.


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