Didier Drogba explains why Jose Mourinho made this Man United signing

The Chelsea FC legend opens up about Jose Mourinho's decision to bring Didier Drogba to Man United

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: The Sport Review

Didier Drogba believes Jose Mourinho understood Romelu Lukaku had “become a man” after the Manchester United manager signed the Belgium striker last summer.

The Red Devils signed the 24-year-old in a £75m deal from Everton in the 2017 summer transfer window to improve Mourinho’s attacking options.

Lukaku established himself as a top Premier League striker at Everton but question marks lingered over his ability to shine on the biggest stage.

However, the Belgian forward netted a respectable 16 goals in 34 outings in the Premier League last term to help Manchester United secure a second-placed finish.

Lukaku netted five times in the FA Cup and the Champions League to take his tally to 27 goals in all competitions during a fruitful first season.

The Belgian forward netted four goals in two games in the World Cup group stage in Russia to further underline his progress at Old Trafford.

Former Chelsea FC striker Drogba attempted to shed light on Mourinho’s decision to sign Lukaku last summer.

“For me there was always a difference between being in the dressing room and being around the lads – joking and having fun – and the moment I stepped out on the field,” Drogba told BBC Sport.

“I changed, and I think he noticed that when he watched me when he was young. He respected that and I can see he is the same now too. He showed that at Manchester United last season.

“I also know United manager Jose Mourinho well, of course, from our time at Chelsea and I can see why he got the best out of Romelu at Old Trafford.

“I think Jose understood when he signed him for United last year that the boy has become a man. He was mature and ready for a challenge like playing for a club like United.

“Romelu did so well because he has got the confidence of the manager, but also because he is at the age where he knows how to pay that confidence back.”

Mourinho worked with Lukaku during his second stint in charge of Chelsea FC but the Belgian forward was unable to hold down a regular starting spot in the Blues team.

Manchester United lost 1-0 to Lukaku’s former club Chelsea FC last term.

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