Manchester United manager José Mourinho admitted that it is unlikely that star striker Romelu Lukaku will get a break until the return of Zlatan Ibrahimović, as the Belgian continued his fine form in Saturday's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Cannot rotate the striker without Zlatan
Ibrahimović had much more of an impact than could have been expected from a 35-year-old last season scoring 28 goals throughout the campaign, but a serious knee injury nearly saw his career in England come to an end with United initially releasing the Swede in the summer.
Mourinho splashed the cash in the summer to bring Lukaku in from Everton as well as signing Ibrahimović to a one-year deal, Lukaku has thrived in the absence of the veteran superstar and continued that form on Saturday.
The Belgian scored United's fourth and final goal which brought his tally up to 11 goals in ten games and matched Andy Cole's record of seven goals in his opening seven Premier League matches, his form has seen him picked by Roberto Martínez for the upcoming internationals and Mourinho admitted it could be a while before he is rested.
"Without Zlatan we cannot rotate the striker," Mourinho admitted ahead of Saturday's win. "Especially because Marcus Rashford is playing also in other positions."
"So until the moment we have Zlatan we cannot think about giving rest to our No. 9," the coach proclaimed. "The same way we give in other positions. We cannot do that."
“We cannot do that," Mourinho added. "Belgium is Roberto’s responsibility and it’s his decision to play him or not to play him."
Break has come at a bad time
The international break brings an end to another excellent period for the Red Devils, with United further solidifying their credentials as title contenders with seven wins out of eight in all competitions since the last break.
It certainly looks to be getting tougher from here on out as United will take on bitter rivals Liverpool upon their return to domestic football, United suffered their only dropped points of the campaign in the 2-2 draw with Stoke City after the last international break and Mourinho admitted that he doesn't "welcome the break".
"I don't welcome the break," he said. "It's bad."
"We had the first break and two days after the players came back we had to play another game," the 54-year-old stated. "It's not a good situation for us but moaning doesn't help."
"We have to wait for them," Mourinho concluded. "And hope there are not many problems."