Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described Romelu Lukaku as "untouchable" ahead of Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League clash with Benfica.

United’s no.9 has started the season in scintillating form, with 11 goals already to his name, and Mourinho feels that tally and the striker's all-round contribution to the cause mean the Belgian deserves unanimous support.

"I think Romelu is one of the players who should be untouchable in terms of respect from everyone," the manager told the media on Monday afternoon.

"He’s playing very well for us - it’s not one ball that hits the post or one shot saved by the opposition goalkeeper that defines Romelu’s contribution as low or top level. It’s what he does for the team – it’s fantastic.

"For a striker, playing football is not just about scoring goals. And my job – when I feel they deserve it – is to protect my players. And for me, he is untouchable in my team and I think he should be untouchable in the support and the respect he deserves from the fans."

Mourinho was asked if he felt Lukaku had a quiet game against Spurs, despite the fact the Belgian hit the post with a fine header late on, before setting up Anthony Martial’s decisive goal with an important flick-on.

"I don’t think he was quiet at all," Mourinho said. "Ask [Jan] Vertonghen, [Toby] Alderweireld and [Eric] Dier if they thought he was quiet – and they are some of the best central defenders in world football.

"Whether he's scoring goals or not scoring goals is all that some people analyse. But I didn’t think he was quiet at all."


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