Jose Mourinho would have fared better at Manchester United had he been given “the players that he wanted”, says Romelu Lukaku, with the Belgian striker still holding the Portuguese in the highest regard.
A £75 million ($98m) transfer took Lukaku to Old Trafford during the summer of 2017.
Mourinho had been at the Red Devils helm for 12 months by that point and already invested heavily in the likes of Paul Pogba and Victor Lindelof.
There were, however, regular reports of the United board blocking moves for supposed targets.
Lukaku feels more success would have been enjoyed had Mourinho been shown more support, with the current Tottenham boss still one of the very best in the business.
The now Inter striker told Sky Sports when discussing the managers who have brought the best out of him: “I think Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and now Antonio Conte. I think Jose Mourinho – if he would have had the players that he wanted, he would have done better than what we did.
“Steve Clarke, massive mention to him, because he gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League aged 19.
“And obviously my first coach at Anderlecht, Ariel Jacobs, who gave me the chance when I’d barely turned 16. He called me from school, they called me like, ‘Yo, you have to come with the first team’, and he played me straight away.
“Those are the coaches that forever I will respect them.
“At the end of the day, I’m always an open-minded guy and at the end of the day, as a footballer, you have to do what your manager asks.
“I’ve never had any problem with any manager I’ve had – it shows my professionalism and my willingness to work.”
Having joined United in the middle of Mourinho’s reign, Lukaku departed with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling the shots.
The 26-year-old has reiterated that he took the decision to move on long before a deal was done with Inter, with it clear that the Red Devils were heading in a different direction.
Lukaku added on his exit from English football: “Last year was difficult for me on the professional side, because stuff was not going how I wanted and I was not performing as well.
“So I had to find it within myself what was lacking and came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change environment.
“I made my decision around March, and I went to the manager’s office and told him it was time for me to find something else.
“I wasn’t performing and I wasn’t playing. I think it was better for both sides to go separate ways. I think I made the right decision.
“Manchester United has made space for the younger players to come through so I think it was a win-win situation for both of us.”