Man United can definitely cope without Romelu Lukaku: Bryan Robson
A cloud of uncertainty continues to hover over Romelu Lukaku's Manchester United future, with prospective suitors Inter Milan keen to add the burly Belgian to their strike force.
Should a deal for the £90 million-rated (S$153m) forward be reached, United could be left thin on options up front.
However, former United captain Bryan Robson believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has enough attacking options at his disposal, even if the 26-year-old leaves Old Trafford.
When The New Paper asked Robson if United can succeed without Lukaku, he said: "For sure. Well, when you look at the players we've got, like Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, we've got a lot of forward attacking players.
"We've got a lot of players back this season, whether we allow Lukaku to leave or stay."
Robson, 62, was speaking at an exclusive fan session at Orchard Shopping Centre's MSpace at Maybank last Friday.
Lukaku has not played in any of United's pre-season friendlies - which have resulted in three wins, with seven goals scored and none conceded.
Solskjaer may not appear to require Lukaku's services, but he admitted that he sorely lacks leaders in the mould of Robson.
When told of that, the former England captain smiled and said: "It's a really nice compliment for the manager to talk about me in those terms.
"I always feel a defender or a central midfielder is the best type of captain, because you're looking at what forwards are doing and you can organise them.
"A forward to organise would be really hard to do, but with saying that, you see Harry Kane for Tottenham Hotspur, and he does a very good job as captain."
Robson, United's longest- serving captain for 12 years, named Nemanja Matic as skipper material, along with defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
"These lads have got a lot of experience now and have got it in them to be a captain," he said.
He also referred to youngsters Rashford, 21, and Greenwood, 17, as players who may not lead, but could work on communicating better.
"Our club have always been good at bringing people through the academy and giving all players a chance.
"Ole as a manager will definitely do that, and that's the culture of United.
"But in saying that, if you're going to bring youngsters through, they've got to be good enough to try and win you the title and Champions League."
He advised United's young guns to "keep their feet on the ground and keep working really hard to be better".
Another point he brought up was the use of social media, following recent criticism of Lingard's Instagram posts.
Said Robson: "I think they have to be very careful and remember that they are footballers first.
"I never liked to see players on it too much. It takes over the fact that you've made your money and reputation because you're a footballer. Younger players have to realise that."
Nonetheless, he's optimistic of United's chances this season.
He said: "I think Liverpool and Manchester City will go into the season as favourites to win the title, but I'd like to see us compete a little bit better than what we did last year and get back into the Champions League.
"That's the challenge for us. If we get off to a good start and the confidence is high, we could challenge for the title."