When talking about the best strikers in England, you can’t go wrong mentioning Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Diego Costa or even this year’s breakout star Jamie Vardy. But with the exception of Vardy, none of these strikers are having the same kind of production that Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has had this season. Sitting only two goals back of Vardy in the goal scoring chart, Lukaku has been doing it without the same kind of fanfare that many of the other top strikers in England have.
Part of the problem is that Everton sits ninth in the table. While Aguero, Kane and Vardy battle for a Premier League title, Lukaku is playing with much less at stake. But his 16 goals during this campaign has kept Everton afloat in the top half of the table. Lukaku has over 20 goals in all competitions this year, the first time an Everton player has recorded back to back 20 goal seasons since 1985.
Romelu Lukaku becomes the first #EFC player to score 20+ goals in consecutive seasons since 1985 [via @Ladbrokes] pic.twitter.com/jnsTuABxml
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) February 6, 2016
Lukaku us a tough physical player that runs hard, qualities that have seen him score goals in bunches this year. Back in November, the Belgian had an eight-game goal scoring streak. His goals aren’t often pretty, but he’s a great finisher that puts himself in a great position. He’s a poacher, but one that isn’t afraid to put in hard work on and off the ball.
Everton has been sorely lacking in quality strikers for some time. As previously mentioned the club hasn’t had a player with consecutive 20 goal seasons since before Lukaku was even born. Before Lukaku Everton had Wayne Rooney, but he only played 77 matches with the Club before being sold to Manchester United at only 19 years of age. Lukaku is still young, only 22, but to be the first Everton player to put up these numbers in two decades is remarkable.
Being a mid-table team means Lukaku doesn’t get the same kind of attention that other strikers in England get. In some ways that’s a blessing, he doesn’t have the same amount of pressure put on him. He’s not expected to carry his team to a title.
When he was at Chelsea, a few years ago, Lukaku was going to be counted on. The problem was, he was still a teenager at that time, and he was on a team that was expected to push for a title. He was loaned out to West Brom and then to Everton. When Chelsea bought Diego Costa, Lukaku’s loan deal to Everton was made permanent, and since then he’s been quietly turning into one of England’s best strikers.
While he’s quietly putting up big numbers, he isn’t exactly flying under the radar. The reality of the Premier league is young players showing tons of potential tend to go to the teams with deep pockets at some point. Much like Wayne Rooney did once before, Everton fans have to feel nervous when Lukaku’s name appears in the press. Rumors have been swirling that Manchester United, a team in desperate need of a striker, are preparing to bid 65 million pounds for the young Belgian.
United almost certainly won’t be the only club to ask about Lukaku. Everton may feel that 65 million pounds is too good to pass up, and that may be true. You can buy a lot with that kind of money. You could buy a world class striker. But for Everton, a team that hasn’t had a great striker in a long time, why not just keep the one you have?