Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told the club’s fans that he believes Romelu Lukaku should be immune from criticism.
Mourinho has accused United supporters of being over-critical of the Belgian striker who has not scored in his last five games for the club.
The substitution of Marcus Rashford was barracked on Saturday before Lukaku and Anthony Martial combined to score the only goal of the game against Tottenham.
We praised Lukaku in 16 Conclusions but United fans are slower to give credit to their £75m striker.
“The fans are the fans. They pay for their ticket and are free to express how they want to express but my job is to protect my players when they deserve it,” said Mourinho ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Benfica.
“Romelu is one of the players who should be untouchable in terms of respect from everyone.
“It’s not one goal or the ball going against the post or a save by the opposition keeper that can make Romelu’s contribution below the top level. He is playing extremely well for us.
“I need to protect my players when I feel they deserve it most. What he does for the team is fantastic. It is not just about scoring goals. He is untouchable in my team and I feel he should be untouchable with the fans. I repeat fans can do what they want, but I repeat I feel it is my duty to defend my players when I feel they deserve it.
“Ask Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Dier if he was quiet. They are some of the best central defenders in football. The point is scoring or not scoring – in the end that is what people analyse. But he is not quiet at all.”