Thursday Throwdown: Romelu Lukaku

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Romelu Lukaku has been a hot topic of late, and especially after an interview in which he criticized Everton’s level of ambition. Here, the Cosh boys discuss the rights and wrongs of his statement, and where his future may lie.

Was he right to question the ambition of his club?

Alex: Certainly not in public. He said that there were good players that other Premier League clubs bought that Everton missed out on. That may well have been true, but he needs to remember that he plays for Everton, and that last summer was their first transfer window with big money. They were willing to spend a lot, evidenced by the signings of Bolasie and Schneiderlin (whether you think them good enough or not), and Lukaku is smart enough to know that building a squad takes time. This was him softening the ground to leave in the summer.

Bernie: I don’t have a problem with players publicly questioning their club’s ambitions if it’s legitimate and honest. Lukaku might be correct but unfortunately he’s saying this to foreshadow a move away. Everton needed to make a bigger push in the market, they are a big club in England and with new ownership they have to get aggressive. Man City and Chelsea showed us that a good squad can be put together in one season if you are ambitious enough. Everton need to do the same, but it won’t be with Lukaku.

Mohaned: Of course he was right to do so. This is the right time to leave and he needed to let everyone know that he’s available. It’s a come get me. Everton are not his level anymore. He did well to choose them for this period of his career so he can continue to grow and show everyone that he has the output even when playing in this Everton side who are not in highest tiers of clubs.

Is he worth the alleged 70m transfer fee?

Rishay: At the age of 23 Lukaku has made appearances for both Belgium and Everton on a regular basis. He is one of the strongest strikers around and still hasn’t hit his prime. With the way transfer deals are done these days in terms of amortized payments, 70m is quite affordable to the big clubs – take a look at the Di Maria transfer from Madrid to Man United and Man United to PSG. With amortization taken into account, United actually made net profits on the transactions of Di Maria despite selling for a lower fee.

Bernie: As good as he is, it would be extremely problematic to pay 70m for him. His goals to games ratio is outstanding but players that demand that type of fee typically play at the highest level already. Lukaku is no longer a young potential signing like Martial was. He’s seen as starting to get into his prime and he’s not been tested at Champions League level so I don’t think he’s in that market unless he moves within the Premier League where moves amongst top clubs are prohibitively expensive.

Where will he go if he leaves Everton?

Mohaned: Manchester United could do with an Ibra replacement in a year’s time. So blood him in for a season before he takes over the main role? Chelsea if Costa leaves as rumoured. Arsenal obviously need him but they’ll never pay the money. Atleti, Dortmund, PSG etc. He can go anywhere. He’s good enough, he just needs the bid to come in, and it will.

How does he stack up compared to the best strikers like Aubameyang, Lewandowski, Suarez and Griezmann?

Alex: I don’t think Lukaku’s all-round game is anywhere close to Lewandowski, Suarez, Griezmann or even Kane who I absolutely think is amongst the best in Europe. I don’t think Lukaku contributes as much to a team if he isn’t scoring, which a striker must do these days. That said, guaranteed goals are guaranteed goals. I think making the step up and playing with better players will improve Lukaku, and as I said before, he’s still so young. His ceiling is very high.

Bernie: Look, I said on the pod that Aubameyang was the best striker in the world. I’ll own that mistake, I wasn’t thinking. However, he’s top tier with Zlatan, Lewandowski and Higuain with Griezmann and Suarez just ahead of them. Where does that leave Lukaku? Behind those guys with Harry Kane. As I said above they need to prove themselves  on the biggest stage. Neither have yet.

Rishay: Lewa is a goal scoring addict, Aub is a speed demon, Griezmann is a complete striker who baffles expectations, and Suarez is an absolute tank. Lukaku is his own type of player, and perhaps the strongest of the lot. Not sure if he has the silkiness of Suarez but he definitely has the power. A few of these names are also older and well into their primes, while Lukaku hasn’t hit his yet, which is scary. Interestingly, I would actually consider him to be similar to Benzema, in a way.

Mohaned: In that they’re both chunky? First of all, Aub doesnt belong on that list. Second, Lukaku is 23. He’s barely learned the rules of football yet and he’s this effective. If he keeps his hunger and drive to learn and improve, I can see him reaching Drogba levels of stature easily. He’s a different player to the strikers we see out there today. Lewa is the closest in terms of style where they have plan A and plan B , the  rest are all technical strikers. I think Lukaku is going to bring back the big-man style of strikers on the world stage. He won’t be pretty, which will harm his global persona, but he’ll be damn effective.

Thoughts on Lukaku? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us here.

3 replies »

  1. Who are you people who talk this conversation you haven’t got a clue. Everton are one of the most successful clubs in England. Granted not recently, but they will be once again now they have money to spend. Chelsea and Man CIty were only mediocre teams in England till the man with the big cheque book arrived and did not have anywhere near the success in their history. It’s only in recent years this has happened for them. So why can’t Everton be as successful as them in future? It’s only people like yourselves who want to keep others down and don’t like it when a great team of the past wants a take a bite of the pie of success which it has every right to do. Everton has a great fan base and are now in the process of building a new state of the art stadium, and lots of money to spend. So don’t disrespect something you have no idea about. Everton are a great Football Club, and will be big once again. Lukaku is not the big picture for Everton. One man is not greater than his team. He is a precocious talent granted, but he has played lots of games, and once he reaches 500 games he will start to fade like all other strikers, which he will reach in the next 3 years. Everton should take as much money as they can get for him, if he doesn’t want to play for them. When Man city and Chelsea became rich the rules where different a team could spend what it liked, but now there is financial fair rules and Everton can’t just go out and do what the teams could do a couple of years ago. So it will take a few transfer windows before this can happen for teams like Everton, and Lukaku should understand this. Watch this space!

    • Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. We understand perfectly that Everton are a historically big and fantastic club, and we haven’t said otherwise. Nor did any of us say that Lukaku is the be-all and end-all for Everton. The fact is that he wants to move on to a higher level but two of us have actually criticized him for saying what he did publicly regarding his criticism of the club’s ambition, which we have stated is big. None of us remotely disrespected Everton, so I’m really not sure where you’ve pulled that from. I agree – you should take as much money as you can for him and re-invest it wisely. If you buy well next summer you may be able to build a squad that can legitimately challenge for the top four. Lukaku doesn’t want to wait around to see if that happens, but that’s his choice and fair enough.

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