Man Utd urged by Cole to look to Liverpool and Salah for Lukaku inspiration

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The former Red Devils striker believes arch-rivals have shown Jose Mourinho's side have to bring the best out of a forward by playing to his strengths

Manchester United have been told to look to arch-rivals Liverpool for inspiration, with Andy Cole of the opinion that Romelu Lukaku can match the achievements of Mohamed Salah if used in the right way.

The Red Devils invested £75 million ($101m) in a new frontman during the summer transfer window of 2017, with a proven Premier League performer lured away from Everton.

Liverpool also brought in added firepower, although they needed just £36.9m ($50m) to bring former Chelsea man Salah back to England from Roma.

The Egyptian has enjoyed a remarkable debut season at Anfield, plundering 44 goals to land the Golden Boot and a PFA Player of the Year and FWA Football of the Year double.

Lukaku has not done too badly himself, netting 27 times across all competitions, but Cole believes there could be even more to come from the Belgian if he makes minor tweaks to his playing style.

The former United striker said in The Mirror: “If he starts playing to his strengths, and taking advantage of what he has as an athlete - his strength and power – and starts running in behind and stretches teams, you’ll get even more out of him.

“If you look at what Salah has done at Liverpool this season, a lot goes through him.

“They play to his strengths. Give the ball to him early doors and he’ll crack on and do what he does and nick a goal. He’s ended up getting 44 goals this season.”

Cole, who netted 121 times for United during a stint which included an historic treble triumph in 1999, added: “In the modern game now, all the forwards want the ball to their feet.

“If you look at the game closely, there could be 20 yards of space in behind, but no-one runs in behind.

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“But I look at Lukaku and I think to myself, ‘Does anyone really want to chase him?’ I really don’t think so. So if he thinks to himself, ‘There’s 20 yards of space in behind, I could give some a yard or two and still beat them to it’

“Once he starts doing that and they start doing that... phew!”

United are currently sweating on Lukaku’s fitness ahead of an FA Cup final showdown with Chelsea, with an ankle problem having forced the 25-year-old to sit out three fixtures at the end of the Premier League season.