Why Everton Won The Summer Transfer Window By Signing Romelu Lukaku


Romelu Lukaku is an Everton player. No really, he is, and this time it’s for keeps. In a move so stunning it took days to process and subsequently write about, the twenty-one year old will be wearing Everton colors next year and for some time after that they hope. But how did this happen? With the greatest of respect to Everton, he’s been known to European powerhouses since he was sixteen years old. For that reason and many more, this is why Everton have secured the signing of the summer.

We’ll start with manager Roberto Martinez, who deserves a ton of credit for getting the Belgian permanently. Martinez is a special guy, we know this, and his previous work at Swansea and Wigan shows us he knows how to outdo expectation. A couple of times last season after Lukaku scored he would go over to his manager to celebrate. This is only tipping the iceberg, but you get the idea that Martinez is the kind of guy who gets the best out of his players.

Without getting too giddy though, let’s talk about what a player Lukaku is. Two years ago (he was only nineteen at the time) he scored seventeen goals on loan at West Bromwich Albion. Last year, it was fifteen goals in thirty-one games with the Toffees. So why exactly did Chelsea let this guy go? In what could perhaps turn out to be an ironic twist of fate, the player who most closely resembles Lukaku, Didier Drogba, has just returned to the club for a second stint. Knowing how good Drogba is, why did Chelsea part with a player over a decade younger than the Ivorian, who many feel will become better than the man he so closely represents?

At this point, it needs to be mentioned that Didier Drogba didn’t turn professional until he was twenty-one. That is unheard of these days, and of course the guy went on to become legendary both at Chelsea and for his country. But look at all that Lukaku has achieved both in the Belgian professional league and in England before he turned twenty-one. Why give that up? He has also already played in a World Cup with his country as well.

It’s not even like this was a terribly tough decision to make for Chelsea. They could have still signed Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid as they did and had both him and Lukaku as the alternating strikers. They could have then still added Drogba as a backup. That would have meant Fernando Torres would have had to leave the club and really, he’s had his chances to impress, too many in fact. (I hate ragging on Torres, he’s actually been better for Chelsea than most realize, but something happened to him when he left Liverpool, and he’s never been able to rediscover that devastating form. He should have left London a long time ago.)

However, Chelsea’s loss is Everton’s gain, and the picture above illustrates what a player they are getting in Lukaku. Yes these numbers are in a way a bit pointless, but they do excite as well. Scoring more goals than Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar and Ibrahimovic at the same age is impressive, even if some of them hadn’t played nearly as much as Lukaku has to this point.

This leads to the best part of all for Everton, and that is that this is a win-win situation for them no matter what. At worst, at absolute worst, this guy gets no better and is a top level striker for the next decade, plus who would probably go down a legend at the club. More likely though, is that he sticks around for a few years, plays fantastically well, and gets sold on to a really big club abroad for a massive fee. We don’t want to talk about him leaving or anything, but when they are the two options, you realize just how well the club have done here.

So congratulations to Everton, for securing a great player at a not totally unreasonable price of £28 million. Hey, that’s around the same amount they sold Marouane Fellaini for, you know? We haven’t even spoken about the fact Everton have been without a great striker since Duncan Ferguson was harassing defenders on a weekly basis. Or that Lukaku could form a powerful duo with Arouna Kone, and let’s not even get started on the prospect of another year at least of himself and Ross Barkley linking up.

Times have never been so good around Goodison it seems, and while a ball hasn’t been kicked yet, none of the top clubs will fancy making the trip to face this team when the league begins. Top four candidates? Probably not, but signings like Lukaku allow fans to dream.