Everton’s 3-0 win at Southampton on Saturday in the early kick-off was an eye-catching one.
The Saints are usually strong at home, but Roberto Martinez’s team, and in particularly striker Romelu Lukaku made a mockery of the Saints.
The big Belgium international scored a brace for the Toffees and combined well with England international Ross Barkley.
Everything about Lukaku seems to be big, his potential, his price tag and his ego. The £28million man holds so much potential and despite perceiving to flop at Chelsea he can be a big talent.
In the past Lukaku has shown flashes of his ability. However against the Saints the former-Chelsea star was simply unplayable. He used his strength and intelligence to help his team claim a rare victory at St Marys.
He showed against Southampton all the good points of his game and he now has to produce that sort of performance on a more regular basis.
Last season was a disappointing one for Lukaku, despite the fact that he scored 20 goals in all competitions. Only ten of those goals came in the Premier League as Everton struggled to combine their European adventure with their Premier League campaign.
Lukaku thrived in the Europa League last season scoring eight goals, but he just could not find his best form in the league.
His brace against Southampton took him into the top hundred goalscorers in the history of the Premier League. Everton fans will be hoping the 22-year-old striker can continue in a similar vein for the rest of the season and keep moving up in that goalscoring list.
Romelu Lukaku seems to have all the attributes to become a world-class striker in the future. When he is on his game like he was yesterday any defender would struggle to stop him. Maybe in the past he has spent too much time talking in the press.
However, he is a student of the game and hopefully he can develop his mental attributes and his ego can be supressed enough to fulfil his potential in the near future. He can be the complete forward and critics tend to forget he is still young.
The youngster maybe has the perfect person to learn from on the Everton bench in now Toffees coach Duncan Ferguson. The Scot was an Everton talisman and on his day gave the best defenders in the Premier League problems.
Ferguson arguably under-achieved in his career, as he suffered injury problems which hampered his two stints at Goodison Park, but he is certainly in a position to help Lukaku become a more dangerous centre-forward.
Everton fans love their centre-forwards, with numerous strikers down the years going down as legends and icons. Everton were crying out for a striker before Roberto Martinez brought in Lukaku. The striker has the potential to be a club icon if he stays on Merseyside for long enough that is.
In Lukaku and the aforementioned Barkley Everton have two of the most promising young attacking players in the Premier League. In Martinez’s debut campaign Barkley and Lukaku combined superbly well and helped the team achieve a club-record point’s total.
In yesterday’s game both players were outstanding and combined to cause the Saints no end of problems. Lukaku scored a brace and Barkley scored a superb goal with the Toffees third. Lukaku also set the England international up with another golden opportunity that Southampton ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg saved comfortably.
Barkley and Lukaku’s lack of form in the Premier League last season hampered Everton’s league campaign. They lacked sharpness in their attacking play, but that sharpness seemed to return to the Toffees attacking play yesterday.
Everton face a difficult run of games in the next few weeks, as they face Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea in the next month. The win at St Marys and Lukaku’s performance will have raised confidence amongst the players and maybe the Toffees fans.
Everton’s ultimate objective is to challenge for the top four and a Champions League places. They came close to achieving that in season 2013/14, but fell just short in the final few months of the season.
If Romelu Lukaku can maintain the sort of performance level that he produced yesterday then Roberto Martinez’s side could enjoy a far more fruitful campaign than last season.
Can Lukaku find consistency this season for Everton?