“I’m among the best” – words that Romelu Lukaku is probably wishing he hadn’t said last week if Monday’s performance against Gli Azzuri is anything to go by.
Lukaku has been on the end of a lot of criticism during his time at the Toffees by a number of fans and pundits. Lukaku is a player who has so much potential and is on course to be a world class striker. His stats speak for themselves. 60 Premier League goals from when he started the 2012/13 campaign at West Brom until the end of the 2015/16 campaign. 60 goals in 139 appearances is not a bad return for any striker let alone somebody so young with so much to learn. I won’t compare his goal scoring record to that of a younger Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronald and co because we all know he’s not near their level but the signs are promising.
I don’t need to go over his comments in recent weeks at much length as we all know that he, his father and his agent all love to talk the talk in the press and the Belgian looks almost certain to leave this summer. £65 million the asking price. “I’d bite their hand off”…”I’d carry him there myself”…”he’s not even that good” – shouts across Twitter and Facebook by fans when anything regarding a Lukaku sale is mentioned. I know he has some flaws but does that mean you would rather have Graziano Pelle upfront instead of him? I’m not sure whether any blues out there who have stated that they’d prefer Pelle in the recent days are saying that out of anger and bitterness or plain stupidity? He’s wanted to play in the Champions League since day 1. He’s had aspirations to be at a “big team” since day 1. Everton are a big club as far as history goes but we haven’t performed to that label for aslong as I’ve been a blue. He was promised Champions League by us and we failed to deliver. He’s continuously put the ball in the net for us and in some games has been the game changer (Chelsea in the cup springs to mind). I want to keep Rom at Everton. I don’t want to sell him for £65 million. He will iron out his inability to trap a bag of sand, he will become more of a team player when we play more to his strengths, he will reach his potential. I want to see him upfront as part of a two, he plays much better off of somebody else as opposed to the lone striker role.
What I’m trying to say is Lukaku is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, players to pull on the Royal Blue jersey in the past decade. I’d take him now over a player who scores 10 goals but “plays for the shirt”. I’m sure most blues would play for the shirt but if they’re not scoring goals then it’s irrelevant. Goals win football games, loyalty doesn’t. He doesn’t not play for the shirt, he’s a frustrated young man with growing up to do, but he’s a massive goal threat and the club should do all it can to retain him.