Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is treating his injury problems as a chance to trust other players in the squad, and to give them the chance to prove themselves. Marcus Rashford has excelled without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marouane Fellaini has achieved competence without the presence of Paul Pogba, and Phil Jones hasn’t been calamitously bad at every available opportunity yet. Ashley Young, too, has made left-back his own in the absence of any serious alternative.
Romelu Lukaku has picked up a Ryan Giggs-style ‘knock’ ahead of Belgium’s international fixtures. His injury to his ankle means that he’s less likely to feature. I think Belgium have already qualified - I’m certainly not going to look it up - so there’s no need for a clash between United and Belgium, so Lukaku might get the benefit of the doubt, and of a break after his domestic exertions.
There’s good news about the injury, at least: a MRI scan showed no ligament damage, so it shouldn’t be an overwhelming concern to United past the international break. Imagine him against the Liverpool defence.
Mourinho is aiming to make best use of his excellent relationship with Mesut Ozil by signing the 28-year-old on a free transfer, or possibly starting the gears up for a move in January. Mourinho trusts Ozil to do what he’s told on the pitch - and while we should be sceptical given his performances for Arsenal, it’s worth remembering what a terrible, pointless manager Arsene Wenger has been for the past decade. Stick Ozil with a manager with talent and nous, and perhaps he’ll be more use on the pitch. United are apparently interested in Alexis Sanchez too, but believe he’ll be off to City.
And lastly, football’s Donald Trump has decided to eff and jeff and pee and moan about something that doesn’t matter.