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Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku: I had to lose muscle after World Cup

ESPN FC's Craig Burley dismisses Romelu Lukaku's latest excuse that he needed to shed muscle to be successful after the World Cup.
Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham.

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has said he's had to "lose muscle" in a bid to rediscover his best form this season.

Belgium international Lukaku scored 27 goals in his debut season at Old Trafford but has struggled in front of goal since the summer.

But after scoring twice in his last two starts, the 25-year-old said a plan to lose some of the muscle gained at the World Cup was part of a process to get back to top form.

"It was at the World Cup," he said after scoring his sixth goal of the season in the 4-1 win over Fulham.

"I just felt great and I think I played great over there, and then when I came back it is a different type of style.

"In the Premier League, I cannot play with the same amount of muscle as international football. That was something that, when I came back, I knew straight away: 'Nah, nah, I cannot play in this style like this.'

"I had to lose muscle, basically. So you just stay out of the gym, drink a lot of water, and a lot of veg and fish and it helps."

Lukaku was dropped for the 2-1 win over his former club Everton in October after going eight games without a goal, and was left on the bench for the recent 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

But he has since scored against both Southampton and Fulham ahead of a week that ends with a trip to Anfield to face Premier League leaders Liverpool.

"Me and the manager [Jose Mourinho] had good conversations in the last couple of days, where really he told me what he wanted from me," Lukaku said.

"I know from my side I have to do better, and I just keep looking forward and improving, trying to add to my game and help the team to win.

"I played with not enough aggression, I think. I think I played with intensity like everybody else did [against Fulham].

"For me, I was happy to play at a decent level again and now it's all about improving and continuing on a consistent basis."

Lukaku said he had been "a bit tired" after the World Cup, adding: "I had the same thing in 2014 after the World Cup when I came back to Everton, I was really in a slump.

"So now I think I am at a decent level again and ready to go again."

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