Romelu Lukaku credits Roberto Martinez for helping him rediscover his form last season.
Lukaku: “[Martinez] left me out in December in a couple of games, and I think that was a wake-up call for me to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Rom, you’re not playing well now, you have to be serious with yourself, you have to work maybe harder,’ ” he told Premier League World. “Even though I was working very hard maybe I had to give more.
“That’s something that you need to learn as a young player, that when things are not going well you need to push yourself, work hard, do everything you can to get back in the starting line-up and know that the team is the most important thing.
Lukaku says the 2014/15 campaign was a learning experience, during which the pressures associated with being a fully paid-up member of Everton’s playing squad weighted differently to those as a loanee.
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“It’s a different context to be fair, it’s totally different,” he said. “When I was here on loan last year I used to score goals and everybody would point the fingers at Chelsea like, ‘Why did you let him leave?’
“Then when I come here and I don’t score goals and it’s, ‘Why did you come?’
“I think a lot of people doubted about the qualities that I had, thinking about the transfer [from Chelsea] and the price tag and stuff,” he said. “But, I think I never spoke a lot. I just kept on working and kept focused on what I had to do to help my team-mates.””