Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Romelu Lukaku not ready for Champions League football

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked with a summer move away from Merseyside

There has been so much discussion about the future of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku that everybody must be sick of hearing about it. However, I am going to wade in with my size tens on the matter.

Anybody that reads my editorial on a semi-regular basis will know I am an Evertonian, for better or worse.

I am however a realistic fan and being a writer for such a long time has made me slightly less biased in my views. So here is my view on Big Rom.

Romelu Lukaku scores goals

First of all, you would have to be naïve to deny Lukaku’s ability to score goals. The 23-year-old is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 21 goals. He has already scored over a century of goals for Everton, which is admirable for a guy who is so young.

On his day Lukaku has every attribute to become a top striker in the world. I doubt many defenders like playing against him, as he has so much of a physical presence and is also very quick. He is a striker and by his nature, he is programmed to be greedy.

However, sometimes he comes across as a guy that is playing for himself and not for the team. Like somebody that is striving to be the best, but forgets sometimes that there are another ten players on the pitch with the same colour shirt on.

It is unlikely to be on purpose that Rom thinks this way. However, maybe it is just his nature. He wants to be the best and wants to be the hero. He is often the goalscoring hero for Everton, yet there are still question marks over Lukaku’s as a top striker.

Lukaku has his faults

Lukaku has been accused of being a flat-track bully only scoring against the weaker teams. However, compared to his contemporaries, such as Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez his numbers are pretty similar, if not better in some cases.

What annoys Everton fans is that if Lukaku doesn’t score he does not seem to affect games. He often appears to be disinterested and sulky. At times he also comes across as lazy, because he does not run around like the likes of Sanchez or Costa.

Another gripe the Toffees have with the striker is his decision making. The game against Manchester United was the perfect example. The striker had a few opportunities to play teammates in on goal but decided to go it alone. That is probably that selfish striker’s instinct I was talking about earlier.

With Everton 1-0 up at Old Trafford, the Toffees broke on the counter-attack. Lukaku was confronted by a United defender who halted his run. Had the striker got his head up, he would have noticed attacking midfielder Ross Barkley standing in acres of space.

It is that sort of thing that frustrates Everton fans, so what it would do to fans of teams challenging for the big trophies I am not sure.

It is in those sorts of situations that top strikers make the right decisions. Those are the sorts of moments that can win matches and eventually trophies. With experience that facet of Lukaku’s game may well improve.

Stay at Everton for another season

We all know that Lukaku longs for Champions League nights and a chance to prove himself on the biggest stage. With Everton now odds of 200/1 to make the top four this season, the Toffees will not give him that opportunity next season.

However, the Toffees are moving in the right direction. Romelu Lukaku has also come a long way since joining the Blues initially on loan. He has gathered so much valuable experience in the royal blue shirt.

It would not hurt him to stay another year at Everton. In fact, it would likely benefit him. He will be getting regular first team football on Merseyside something he would be guaranteed elsewhere if he moves on.

Another season at Everton would also help the striker improve his decision-making and first touch, with neither of attribute top notch at this minute in time.

The striker has already made his mind up about his future, which has been interpreted as he has decided to leave. I really hope that’s wrong and he stays to fire the Blues into the Champions League next season, though. A boy can dream, can’t he?

Is Romelu Lukaku ready for Champions League football?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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