Our Precious

The covetous eyes of the biggest clubs from the Premier League and Europe will be on Romelu Lukaku this summer but if Everton have no imperative to sell, perhaps only the whims of the Belgian himself could see him leave Goodison Park.

Lyndon Lloyd 15/03/2016 67comments  |  Jump to last

Evertonians waited many, many years for someone like Romelu Lukaku to arrive on the Blue side of Merseyside. For far too long after the departure of Gary Lineker and the twilight of Graeme Sharps career, Goodison Park had become something of a strikers graveyard, a reputation shrunk only briefly by the likes of Kevin Campbell and Ayegbeni Yakubu whose respective contribution of goals was curtailed by age and injury.

Not since Wayne Rooney has a player capable of forging a long career spear-heading the Toffees attack graced an Everton side and yet fans of the club have a nagging fear that they could be about to lose their Belgian goalscoring hero as another tilt at the top four peters out into a season of under-achievement in the League.

The eyes of the footballing world have been on Lukaku since he was dubbed the new Drogba amid a torrent of goals for Anderlecht as a teenager, of course. 21 goals, including the mantle of joint-top scorer in the Europa League, for Everton last season represented the latest evidence of a player rapidly reaching full maturity as a forward and, having already surpassed, that tally with at least 11 more games to go and then fired his team to Wembley with a virtuoso striking performance on Saturday, his profile is back in the stratospshere.

You can imagine that Roberto Martinez, given the choice, would have his precious" hidden away from view Gollum-style for only Evertonians to share but with every goal 25 and counting already this season and every world-class, match-winning intervention like that which destroyed Chelsea on Saturday, the Belgians profile gets ever bigger. And the sense of fear among Evertonians that were soon to lose him grows with it.

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Lukakus exploits against Chelsea have focused media eyes on Goodison Park and helped to install the Blues as one of the favourites to lift the trophy in May now that Arsenal have been dumped out. That Martinez would be asked about the chances of keeping hold of his prized striking asset was inevitable; even it wasnt the main thrust of his comments to the press in the wake of the quarter-final victory, media emphasis has centred around speculating about Lukakus future regardless.

While supporters will no doubt have been uncomfortable with the Everton manager even entertaining the hypothetical notion of his sale this summer, Martinez's responses were very matter-of-fact and accepting, in his words, of the reality of modern football. You suspect that in using Cristiano Ronaldos move to Real Madrid as an example rather than that of Gareth Bale, he was implying not that money talks but that the players desires may be the deciding factor.

You got the sense that Ronaldo, having achieved and won trophies in the Premier League, was driven by a desire to try and dominate La Liga and was going to leave regardless whereas Tottenham simply couldnt refuse 85m for Bale. (Not that Bale, himself, wouldnt have wanted to accept a high-profile move to one of the biggest clubs in the world, of course.)

As the John Stones saga last August proved, Everton no longer have a financial imperative to sell their best players. Each may have their price but it would have to be astronomical for the club to be tempted to cash in. That narrows the number of clubs who could actually afford him considerably; some of them them would be in the Premier League but beyond that there is only a handful of clubs who could really afford him. Its a pity because if he were to leave Goodison, surely no one of a Blue persuasion would want him play for another team in England.

So, unless a truly ridiculous, too-good-to-turn-down offer came in for him, perhaps the only force that could see Lukaku move on this summer is Lukaku himself. He has made noises in the past about being ready for the Champions League and that he hopes one day to play again for one of the top clubs like his former team, Chelsea. If he is desperate enough to play in Europes elite competition as early as next season then he could make it very difficult for Everton to deny him.

Again, though, it would come down to budget and which sides are actually going to be in the Champions League next season. The soaring values in the Premier League have gradually been closing the market for its top talent to all but the wealthiest clubs on the Continent. Meanwhile, Chelsea (a more likely destination you would assume given his support of them growing up and, perhaps, a sense of unfinished business at Stamford Bridge) and Manchester United, two of the domestic clubs to whom the media have been trying to sell him recently, are on course to miss out on Uefas gravy train this time around.

Would notoriously frugal Arsenal break the bank to finally solve their need for a consistently reliable goalscorer? Perhaps. Would Tottenham have room for him when they have Harry Kane in their side? Unlikely. Abroad there is Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, but do any of them him need him so badly that they would pay the earth for him? Paris St Germain seem to be the most obvious answer with Zlatan Ibrahomovic looking likely to leave and Edinson Cavani a perennially rumoured target for United. He would certainly score goals there, walk to the League 1 title wheres the challenge in that?! and have a decent crack at the Champions League.

Ultimately, though, Lukaku is already playing in the most exciting league in world football for a genuine sleeping giant who could, thanks to the arrival of Farhad Moshiri, be on the brink of a historic awakening. Yes, after last seasons setback, this was supposed to be the season where it call came together for the Blues and they cracked the top four and theyve again fallen short. And Romelu could just as easily view winning the FA Cup with the Blues this season as leaving Goodison on a high as he could see it as evidence of a club on the rise.

But there is genuine hope now that an expanded budget, some key additions in the summer and a broader, more well-defined vision from the top could finally make that top-four dream and sustained success to follow a reality.

He has big ambitions but he has also has an affinity with Everton that has been cultivated over almost three seasons playing in front of adoring fans. Certainly his rhetoric in recent months hasnt been suggestive of someone looking to end that relationship any time soon but, by the same token, he cant be expected to wait around forever while we as a club get it right.

At 22, though, and with three years yet to run on his Everton contract, he still has time very much on his side and one more season at least to see more definitively where this team is going surely wouldnt do his career any harm. On the contrary, as Michael Ball says in this latest column for the Liverpool Echo, there is every chance Lukaku could become a legend at Everton Football Club and lead it through a return to better days and silverware if he stays. It would, however, surely be our final chance to prove to him that he can achieve those dreams with us.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Steve Smith
1 Posted 15/03/2016 at 00:48:58
It’s a tough one to predict. Usually when Martinez is asked about the possible sale of our best players, his stock answer is "we don’t need to sell to survive etc, etc." but with this speculation surrounding Lukaku, he is all of a sudden saying it’s beyond our control if the player (who as you point out, is contracted to play for us for the next three years) wants to leave.

That statement alone is a stark departure from the statements made by Martinez regarding John Stones last summer and almost feels as though an offer so huge, it’s impossible to turn down, has already been made.

His statements on Lukaku seem to be the start of a PR process to let us all down gently between now and the end of the season, by which time he hopes we’ll all believe that his departure was inevitable and a brilliant result for the club.
David Ellis
2 Posted 15/03/2016 at 02:00:26
Good piece as usual, Rasputin. I think he is highly likely to go if only because he is clearly ambitious and has ambitions beyond what we are likely to deliver to him. However at the moment there doesn’t seem be a clear indication of who is a and who is not a Champions League club within the Premier League. Man Utd will miss out twice in three years. No guarantee that Chelsea will get back soon. Liverpool are even less frequent visitors to this particular pig trough. Arsenal and City are nervously looking over their shoulders this season.

And why play in a weaker league in Europe when the Premier League is where most of the top players are (if not the THE top 2 or 3 players) if ambition is your thing?

So it's a good question to ask – where would he go to get what he wants? Unfortunately I think it’s still likely to be Man Utd or Chelsea or Arsenal. But the current trend is that these clubs are not the force they once were and that may make Everton a more palatable alternative – so the longer we can hold him the more likely we are to hold him longer, but we must perform next season. I fear we have blown it this season, but who knows – a strong finish in the League and an FA Cup win might keep him going another year.

Simon Bradley
3 Posted 15/03/2016 at 02:32:04
Great read, and all very sad but inevitable in my view. I would sell any other payer on our books, heck three or four of them, if It meant keeping him.

Best player we have had at that position since the mid-eighties. Sharp had a better first touch and could hold the ball up better than any other player I have ever seen, Lineker was faster, Heath cleverer and Gray a better header and inspiration. Lukaku has a bit of everything, and he is stronger than those four I have mentioned.

I want to see him in an Everton shirt for years. 5-6 at least (he will still only be 27-28 for goodness sakes – some say that's your prime. He is brilliant and I would be gutted, as we all would, if he does leave.

If all our worst fears come true, the club should slap a £100million price tag on him. Think about it. If Bale is worth £85million, what price a 22-year-old at his level? If Barcelona tried to sell one of their three forwards, they would be looking over that amount. In this day and age, he is worth it.

James Byrne
7 Posted 15/03/2016 at 04:24:08
The club will demand a ridiculous fee but one of the problems we will have is his sale fee. The big clubs with money won't want to pay over £45M for the lad.

The big deciding factor however is the new owner, Moshiri. We don't know anything about this guy yet and he might have huge ambitions. If he has he won't be selling anyone just yet.

Brian Sephton
8 Posted 15/03/2016 at 04:48:52
Well, Simon, I read your figure of £100 million and my first thought was where did he get that from but the longer you think the more sense it makes.

Not for one minute would I want to lose him, firstly because your comparisons made me spit my morning tea out. Heath in the same breathe? Anyway, secondly this will be a marker for Mr Moshiri to stamp his intentions on the supporters and I think the club will offer him higher – much higher – wages in line with the ones he would get if he moved, just to get his agent off the case. He is worth every penny.

The thing I don't like about him is that he could and should get many more goals and I think he reacts too slowly in the box if he doesn't have the ball; he could almost double his tally with a bit more work, but he is just a lad. Just think what he will achieve given a fair crack of the whip.

Thirdly, I think he has a close friendship with a few players and that will mean a lot to him the kind of person he is. It makes me proud to be a blue when I simply hear him talk he has the world at his feet but also he has a great future any where he chooses. Isn't it six languages he speaks?
Alan Thompson
9 Posted 15/03/2016 at 05:33:58
It might not be a matter of what other clubs might pay for him but rather is there a buy-out clause in his contract and how much is it?

If other clubs don’t know, I would imagine his agent wouldn’t be long in telling them.

Dave Lynch
10 Posted 15/03/2016 at 05:55:34
IMO, the acid test will be not if he goes... but, if he does, who will we get to replace him.

It will have to be a world class proven striker to replace him.

Matt Traynor
11 Posted 15/03/2016 at 05:56:16
Alan (#9), I don’t know whether you refer to a buy-out clause or a release fee. The buy-out clause relates to the amount the player has to pay to extricate himself from his contract. As Lukaku is under 28, it is an amount that comes into play once he’s outside of his "protected period" – which is 3 years of the contract (it’s 2 years for a player over 28).

In any case, compensation is due and the amount needs to be agreed between the 3 parties (two clubs and player) and it is not, despite what some believe, a simple calculation of the wages left on the contract – there’s been cases in UEFA where transfers failed as compensation couldn’t be agreed.

If you mean a release clause, they’re not that common in English football – although Fellaini had one. Legally they are untested and could therefore be subject to challenge. I think with Fellaini he had to forego a loyalty payment (the irony) before Everton agreed to the Man Utd bid which matched his release clause.

Similarly, the RS refused Arsenal’s bid of £42 million and a quid for Chewy Suarez – despite the release clause being met.

Usually though it comes down to if the player really wants to go, he’ll go. I don’t think anyone really wants this to be legally tested.

(Side note – notice how the players involved – Jean Marc Bosman and Andy Webster – when it does go legal, really tend not to be worth the legal fees!)

Derek Thomas
12 Posted 15/03/2016 at 06:11:13
If he did indeed ’fall’ for Roberto’s "just one more season" line of patter, it will take a silver-, nay, a golden-tongued line to get him to stay, with a lot of the above-mentioned ’side arguments’ a factor as well.

Whatever happens in the ensuing weeks, months, seasons, Roberto’s unwillingness to see, change or adapt until his mind is concentrated by the arrival of a new owner – thus totally bollocksing up what could’ve been a cracker of a season with a little more ’non-philosophical pragmatism’ (see Leicester) which could very likely lead to Lukaku’s departure. This will forever, just like Kenwright and Kings Dock, hang like an albatross, around the neck of any Legacy, Reputation and Achievements he might garner in the future.

Roberto will be lucky to be here in September and we will be even luckier if Lukaku is as well.

Paul Andrews
13 Posted 15/03/2016 at 06:23:41
Another great article, Lyndon.

It was obvious to me the first time I watched Rom play in a Blue shirt. The lad is going to be an all-time great for Everton... IF WE CAN KEEP HIM.

He got a fair bit of stick on TW ... bad first touch... lazy... etc etc. As a young man, you are by far from the finished product and obviously will improve your touch as you work on it.

The ’lazy’ tag comes because he doesn't run around like a Vardy type of player. As a 14/15 stone lad, he simply can't do that. Better that he preserves his energy for his main job of putting the ball in the net.

He has to be offered a new contract on high wage to keep him mid to long term.

Darryl Ritchie
14 Posted 15/03/2016 at 07:02:46
Modern players, unjustly sometimes, get labeled as mercenaries; going to the highest bidder. Only interested in money and trophies. This may true for some, but I have to believe it’s not true for all.

Hopefully they can develop a positive connection with the club and its supporters. More importantly, the bond between manager and the other players can be very strong. Most get paid very well.

All of our " targets " are already on a good wage. With Mr Moshiri on board, matching the other clubs offers is hopefully possible, so the main reasons any player, including Rom, would use to leave, would be trophies, Champions League... glory.

If they do leave, we will most certainly ask, and get, top dollar, but hopefully, Lukaku and the others stick around a while. All of the pieces are starting to fall into place. We are on the verge of something spectacular! The glory will come, sooner or later. Sooner, if what we’re building doesn’t self destruct before its time.

On another topic, after that little sound bite from Kenwright on the weekend, I don’t think that Martinez is going anywhere soon.

Jim Bailey
15 Posted 15/03/2016 at 07:59:15
I think the only way Lukaku will stay is by Moshiri putting his hand in his pocket and making him the "main man", and convincing him and the other players that as a club we can begin to realise our potential starting next season.

That begs another question, is Martinez the right man to lead Everton into this new era? Personally, I would be astonished if he is still here next season. If it is true that Moshiri has been courted by Bill for 18 months, then he has witnessed first hand how inept Martinez has been and I can’t imagine that he will entrust his money, dreams and vision to him.

We need a proven winner as a manager, someone streetwise and not afraid to make big decisions. Fingers crossed.

Shaun Traynor
17 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:12:00
He will go, which is a shame, but he will. My worry, is that I am praying that Niasse is not his replacement!
Brian Williams
18 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:17:54
Am I missing something here?

Stones wanted to go, was the subject of three bids from Chelsea, put in a transfer request, and was told "You’re going nowhere, you’re under contract."

With three years, after the end of this season, left on his contract, is the situation with Lukaku not the same?

Ernie Baywood
19 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:39:35
Did you really believe that money couldn't buy them Stones? They just didn't offer enough.
Martin Mason
20 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:56:32
We don't need to sell to survive now but we may need to sell as good business practice. Hopefully the ambition of our new shareholder will make him stay at least for 3 or 4 seasons more and I really hope he does, he's critical to our development and he would still have a long playing career ahead of him.
Jon Withey
21 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:56:56
If we lift the cup and Moshiri organises some bolstering of the squad then there is an outside chance he might stay a bit longer.

Ross and Rom are clearly working well together and should improve too.

When Stones handed in a transfer request we had no replacement, now we have Funes Mori and a number of youngsters. It was handled pretty well really.

Problem is, if you sell Rom, you aren’t going to be buying a world class proven goalscorer for the same money – it would cost you more – so what is the point of selling ?

If we sold we’d have to invest in two younger strikers showing potential already at mid-table teams – a bit like Lukaku really.

I expect Niasse will find his feet eventually but he can’t replace Lukaku – I’m no really sure who could – Costa? heh.

Dave Pritchard
22 Posted 15/03/2016 at 08:58:13
Shaun, how have you managed to come up with a fair analysis of Niasse based on his appearances so far? Of course he has so far contributed nothing, but in how many minutes? At least wait until he's played several games before consigning him to the rubbish bin.
Shaun Traynor
24 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:10:12
Easy Dave, he looks shit. Up to now, I don’t think anyone can say any different. Happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t think he’s going to be anywhere near Lukaku's quality.
Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:10:21
Good article, Lyndon, thought provoking. My own view is Lukaku, would be a fool to leave right now, especially if we can win the cup.

I think Moshiri, called it right when he talked about the playing field being as level as anytime, since the invention of the EPL. So if Leicester, can have a good go at it, what do you think the talk will be right now, in a lot of changing rooms around the country?

We have some great young players, and if we spend wisely in the summer, we must be in with a shout ourselves next season. That’s what I think everyone will now be thinking at Finch Farm, so for that reason, I would be very surprised if he left in the summer.

Martinez, talks more sense when he goes straight to the point, so maybe their might be an agreement in place. But nights like Saturday, will surely make Lukaku, have second thoughts about leaving, if the thought has even entered his head, that is.

Dave Pritchard
26 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:18:08
Shaun, the key word in my post was fair. Until he's had a chance to play a decent number of games it is impossible to make a conclusive judgement. I recall many posts on here saying how crap Lukaku is for example.
Trevor Lynes
27 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:26:01
Player power is now paramount and no club can hope to hold on to any player for long.

Liverpool baulked at losing Suarez and later Sterling, but both eventually left for pastures new.

We had overtures for Barkley and Stones but both suffered loss of form since and their value has dropped.

Barkley had a poor season following all the plaudits he received a couple of years ago.

This season has been better but he is still striving to reach his potential, whatever that level is.

Stones is another who was highly praised but has dropped his form alarmingly of late.

Not long ago he was considered our first choice at centre back, now he is benched.

Most clubs see players as assets and if Lukaku wants to leave then it could be the best time to let him go whilst his stock is so high.

He may have a dip in form next season and his value will undoubtedly suffer.

Do not get me wrong, I want all our best players to stay and that includes Stones, Lukaku and Barkley.

I want to see a huge surge in ambition at the club with our new investor backing the manager with an increased transfer budget.

I want us to emerge from this seasons disappointments and challenge for the title next season with everyone firing on all cylinders.

Unfortunately our club has been infamous for years for breaking up great sides after fleeting successes.

We have never been forward thinking enough to produce those conveyor belts of continued success as have other clubs.

We have followed success by failures too often and I really hope that Mr Moshiri manages to keep hold of our best group of young players and build a great side around them that will last for more than one season.

Ken Buckley
28 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:27:13
Lukaku when asked this week about leaving he said he wasn't even thinking about it.

I tend to believe the lad.

Phil Walling
29 Posted 15/03/2016 at 09:39:17
Shaun and Dave: If Niassie is, indeed, 'shit' as put it, Bobby will almost certainly know that by now and we shall see little of the guy before he is shipped back to Russia from whence he came.

Personally, I don't think he was bought to succeed Rom but probably as an expensive 'sweetener' for some agent or other with whom we might be doing business.

Paul Mackie
30 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:01:15
My honest opinion is that Lukaku will still be in an Everton shirt next season. Martinez may lack a lot of things, but from all accounts the man can be persuasive. He convinced Lukaku to sign in the first place remember and I think he'll get at least one more season out of him.

Rick Tarleton
31 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:04:28
He will probably go and Paris St. Germain is the obvious fit. Language would suit, the less demanding needs of the French league and the Champions League status are all factors in their favour.

If Lukaku has a weakness it is his unwillingness to chase and press as Martinez wants, this would matter less at PSG than at any of the other top European clubs. If we can keep him, Barkley, Coleman and Stones then we have the nucleus of a team that should be capable of challenging for a top spot, though given English teams’ poor performances in the Champions League, it will possibly need a top three spot rather than a top four spot, if Everton are to perform on this stage.

We’ll have to wait and see, but I think he will push to leave.


Jim Bennings
32 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:07:28
I think it's very unfair to compare Niasse with Rom.

Lukaku of course is a completely different league to what Niasse has achieved, he's better than most strikers at this moment Lukaku though.

I wouldn't be looking to sell Lukaku for any price in the summer but if he goes then Martinez will have to pull something special out to replace that guy, the prolific goalscoring, the power, pace.

I think Niasse will be a useful backup striker, a more fitter upgrade of Kone if you like, but I very much doubt he'll be first choice striker next season regardless of Lukaku being here or not.

I have a hunch Lukaku will eventually end up at Bayern Munich, especially if as half expected Robert Lewandowski follows Pep Guardiola to Manchester this summer.

Clive Mitchell
33 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:10:08
He'll be gone this summer because that's what he wants to do.
Paul Washington
34 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:21:11
"I know what I want, but cant tell."

Rom said this a few weeks ago when asked about his plans... Looks to me he will be going, and from the Martinez interview, RM has resigned himself to this or an agreement has been made.

Seems to be a different situation from the Stones (non-)transfer.

Ian Burns
35 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:22:47
I didn’t enjoy that article Lyndon, not because it wasn’t well written - it was - it was the uncomfortable subject matter.

I am worried about RM’s comments - a departure from his normal stance in that we don’t have to sell our players. It smacks of something he knows and we don’t.

However, on the face of it, I personally think it is comes down to three factors, given it is still in the balance.

1) Mr Moshiri and what effect will he have on finances this summer. Will he improve Rom’s contract and show we are in the market for some "names" coming into EFC?

2) The FA Cup – winning it might give him an incentive to stay.

3) Our present manager. He needs to convince everybody he is the man to take this club and Mr Moshiri’s financial backing to places Rom wants to go.

Thomas Surgenor
36 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:30:09
Stones didn’t go because Martinez was given the time to back up his claim. Don’t quote me but didn’t he say something along the lines of "every 4 or 5 years, Everton need to take the financial risk and keep their best players to give it a shot."

I believe he convinced the squad that this year was their "shot" and if it didn’t pay off then those who wished could move to pastures green.

Dave Pritchard
38 Posted 15/03/2016 at 10:54:10
It is a no brainer that we should try to keep Rom. Whether it happens will depend on the player himself as well as his agent. At least he has 3 years on his contract so we can definitely get big money. Anyone know if Chelsea inserted a sell-on clause? Hopefully they didn't as we paid £28 million in the first place.
Dan Davies
39 Posted 15/03/2016 at 12:13:14
Niasse is probably seen as a younger fitter hungrier version of kone who might not be around much longer. He will need a good run in the side before he can be fairly judged. Rumour is Slimani £23 mil is a target plays in Portugal?
Dominic Tonge
40 Posted 15/03/2016 at 13:17:09
To be honest if an English club comes in for him I would worry more about Man City. If Roberto can sell Everton to Rom, think what a combination of Champions League football, funds to buy the top talent, and a couple of recent league titles might do if brought up by Pep over a cup of coffee.

Man City need a second striker, Sergio Aguerro is mustard but picks up his share of knocks, and they play a lot of games. Rom would get games, a fat wage packet, medals and champions league football.

No need to look for a new house, settle in a new country, or lose contact with his pals in the North West either. Also good form there would ensure a move abroad at a later date if that's what he wanted.

City... you heard it here first..

Dave Abrahams
41 Posted 15/03/2016 at 13:53:46
I think Lukaku will go in the summer, it’s up to him and if he wants to go he will go, FA Cup win or not.

I don’t think he is as certain to go as John Stones, I do not believe for one moment "we don’t have to sell anymore", if we seriously wanted to keep beyond this season then he would have been offered a new contract after Chelsea were turned down, over six months later no new contract has been offered.

I hope I am wrong but I think both Stones and Lukaku will go, it’s what happens to the transfer money that concerns me.

Nick Armitage
42 Posted 15/03/2016 at 14:14:10
Luckily for us we've got Kone to fall back on.
Rick Tarleton
43 Posted 15/03/2016 at 14:17:38
Nick, please even as a joke that was worrying.
Alan Thompson
44 Posted 15/03/2016 at 14:36:21
Thanks, Matt (#11); explains perfectly what was meant.
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 15/03/2016 at 15:57:39
Matt (#11) regarding your side note, a fund was set up for the benefit of Jean Marc Bosman, players who reaped the rewards of "Bosman transfers" were invited to make donations to this fund. He got next to nothing from the fund as hardly any of the players contributed to the fund. Bosman’s career was virtually ruined by the stand he took.

William Colman
46 Posted 15/03/2016 at 18:59:23
Goals are the most difficult thing to do in football. So get Rom to sign a new contract, give him the number 9 shirt (Ross can have his number 10) and make him captain!
Robert Starkey
47 Posted 15/03/2016 at 19:53:23
Let’s hopefully win the FA Cup then offer Lukaku a new 5-year contract.

When Man Utd come calling around August time for Lukaku, set the price around 3 times what we paid for him £75 million.

Martin Mason
48 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:04:41
I don't even want to think of us with Rom gone. I rate him as irreplaceable and becoming peerless. What a nice guy too. I think playing the lone striker role limits him too.
Craig Mills
49 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:08:52
With the level Everton are currently at I think he’ll be away, the truth is the table doesn’t lie and we are currently fighting West Brom and Bournmouth for a top half of the league position, it’s just not good enough for a player with Rom’s ability and desire.

There’s no point talking about what could happen next year, because we all talked about it last year and for all the talk, we’ve not made progress. So, let’s enjoy it why we can, let’s see if he can fire us to glory at Wembley and when that’s done, if he says he’s going, get the right deal for Everton and for what it’s worth - it’s 70m for me
Darren Hind
50 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:18:33
We are now playing to his strengths, for the first couple of seasons people were pinging balls to his feet when he had men up his arse, that's not his game, the ball bounced all around Goodison... still does if you fizz a ball into him.
Now we are giving him the sort of service which suits his game, with balls into his chest, so he can use his brute force to hold people off, or balls played in front of him where he absolutely terrifies defenders.

There are areas of his game that have come on leaps and bounds, I'm convinced that a few a doubts were planted when he was knocked out at Upton park a couple of seasons ago, but he has well and truly exorcised those demons and he is showing exceptional bravery with some of his headers. He's starting to look world class.

Let's him soak the atmosphere in an open top bus journey around the City waving the cup around.

If that doesn't make him want to stay, we may as well start looking for his replacement.

It won't be easy...

Callum McNab
51 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:38:50
Personally if we are meant to be moving forward as a club we need to keep him. Money isn't the question (especially this season) so we tell him he has to stay.

Players like Lukaku come along once in a blue moon, that's why there is such a shortage of top strikers. Give the lad a deal he cannot refuse for having a good season. To see him go to someone like Man Utd like we did with Rooney, and watch him help them win trophy after trophy again would be sickening.
John Austin
52 Posted 15/03/2016 at 20:45:40
I think he’ll go. The offers to him financially and ambition wise will be too good to turn down. He does have an affinity to Everton but I don’t think that will be enough. I don’t want to lose him, but the key will be getting the best possible fee and then spending it wisely.

Buying the right player(s) in his place could mean we will be stronger. Every club loses their best players at some time and has to move on. It’s what you then put in their place that matters. I just hope he doesn’t go to another Premier League club.

Spurs wasted the Bale money but have recovered because of good management that has created a highly effective team with players no better than we have – many not as good. Sadly, on current performance we don’t have that management.

Paul Ellam
53 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:02:19
I do believe he will leave, whether it is this summer or not I’m not sure but I think he will go. I also think it will be to PSG or B Munich.

I hope he stays, to have such a prolific scorer is a wonderful feeling and one we haven’t really known on a regular basis since the days of Cottee!

Steve Pugh
54 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:03:02
As there are so many psychics on here who apparently know exactly what Rom is going to do, maybe they could all write out a set of numbers for the Euromillions. If they are all the same we could all buy a ticket and get rich.
Dennis Ng
55 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:03:19
Darren, you pointed out the exact reason why we might be able to keep him. We're playing a game suitable for him, and he probably will not get that same treatment at a UCL club. I don't doubt there will be a fee that will be too big to refuse but before that happens, I am more optimistic than most of our chances to keep him here.
Brian Williams
56 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:06:17
Everyone seems to missing the point. The situation will be no different to the Stones situation should anyone come in for him.

He’s under contract. If we don't want to sell we don't have to... end of!

Paul Andrews
57 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:23:53
Dennis, that's a good point. The manager has created a tactical system that sees Lukaku scoring a bagful and the team as 2nd top goal scorers in the Premier League.

It's certainly working for the team.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:25:09
Makes you wonder why Martinez, said what he did then Brian.
Colin Glassar
59 Posted 15/03/2016 at 21:59:07
I don’t want to lose Rom, and I don’t think we will, but there are a couple of possible replacements, eg: Embolo, Batsuyahi, Slimani etc....

It’s up to Moshiri and the manager to show him their ambition by surrounding him with top class players (as well as keeping the ones we already have) who will make his life a lot easier on the pitch. Give him Butland, Goetze or Gundogan and Yarmolenko and I think he’ll happily stay with us.

Can you imagine a team like this?

Butland
Coleman
Stones
Funes Mori
Baines
McCarthy
Gundogan
Barkley
Deulofeu
Lukaku
Yarmolenko

Dream team...

Jason Thomas
60 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:00:20
We need to make a statement as early as possible in the transfer market in order to convince Rom and others that this is the place to be over the text few years. If it was me, I would bring Rooney back as my first signing on the day the window opens. That would make everyone sit up and listen!
Andy King
61 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:10:49
I think he will stay for at least one more season and see what the new owner's ambition is. The Premier League this year and the forthcoming years will be very unpredictable. Man City and Pep could find themselves in the Europa League so there is no guarantee of Champions League if he stays in the Premier League.

PSG with their wealth is my only concern and they can guarantee Champions League football.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:19:18
Colin what's that Slimani, like? I thought he looked very good in the last World Cup, if I'm thinking about the same player.
Colin Glassar
63 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:26:05
Great little player Tony. Very quick, agile, scores for fun, two footed, intelligent etc... He's the complete package IMO but will cost around £20m
Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 15/03/2016 at 22:28:31
Yeh Colin, he really impressed me, especially with his willingness to run. The kid just never stopped.
Paul Ferry
65 Posted 15/03/2016 at 00:05:56
Brian Sephton (8): 'Heath in the same breathe?' (sic)

Abso-fecking-lutely!

Why have a pop at Inchy here – spit my tea out.

I don't know how old you are and whether you were around for 84-87?

Inchy scored my favourite ever EFC goal: 117th minute, Highbury 1984 (and erm the Oxford goal that started it all).

Yes, Heath in the same breath. He would be terrific with Lukaku in much the same way as he was with Sharpy.

A magical little fella at his best with brill touch and for a tadpole he scored a few headers. A wonderful playing-off-the-big-fella sort of player with pace.

Injuries ruined his time with us at the end of the day nothing else. A very special player and IMO it was utterly inappropriate to write this about him.

We are not saying he is as good as Lukaku, for feck's sake.

Smart fella too. He opened at wine bar in Stoke called Heaths! Probably the only ever wine bar in Stoke.

David Ellis
66 Posted 16/03/2016 at 02:21:28
I think he will go next season. I hope he doesn’t. The arguments are very well laid out in the OP and the thread. However we will still all be here next season regardless. Life goes on with or without Lukaku but let’s just enjoy this Cup run for now eh?

Actually far far worse things can happen. I am particularly concerned about talk of a breakaway super league of European Clubs – already 4 or 5 English clubs have been in talks with an American investor (we are not one of them). This would completely screw us – worth a whole separate thread.

Some of the big continental teams may start to favour such a league because the Premier League’s success is hollowing out the other leagues in Europe. Ajax, Bayern and Juventus really do need to do something to retain their status (or regain their status in the case of Ajax).

Mark Andersson
67 Posted 16/03/2016 at 03:32:42
Brilliant article. I think it’s strange that most have a fear, dread, a sadness about losing Rom, Two words sums it up for me: Leicester City.

Where is the clamour to sign their players? Yet they are top the League playing good footy.

David Ellis, would that mean no more local derbies then? Also, it goes back to my conspiracy theory that the powers that be (Money Men) only want one major team from the city of Liverpool ensuring future generations would most likely become shite fans.

Sad if that ever happens, luckily for me, my son and grandson are born blue, like me.

Paul Andrews
69 Posted 16/03/2016 at 06:38:35
Talking to one of the lads yesterday about the "Lukaku first touch" debate.

Great answer from him ..."his first touch can be as bad as it wants, his second touch usually ends up in the net"

I think he has vastly improved his first touch by the way.

Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 16/03/2016 at 09:14:17
Paul (#65), yes I remember that wine bar; he either bought it for his dad or his dad ran it for him.
Denis Richardson
71 Posted 16/03/2016 at 09:30:31
If we win the cup then we have a small chance of persuading Lukaku to stay but personally I’d be amazed if he was here next season. RM may have asked for the ’just one more season’ thing already given he was making the same comments about players leaving in the summer this time last year, Lukaku has obliged and stayed another year.

We’ve been woeful in the league two years running now and no amount of money is going to change that if there is no change of manager anyway with further leads me to believe he’ll be gone, FA Cup win or not. If Lukaku also has a decent Euros then we can forget it.

We should also learn from the Stones saga where we ended up cutting our nose off to spite our face. Lost out on £37m as well as having an unhappy player who then played well below his normal standards all season – we’d be lucky to get £20m for Stones right now nevermind £37m. If Rom wants to go in the summer, contract or no contract, we should get the highest price for him and move on. At current market rates we could get upwards of £60m!

Can see a massive clear out coming this summer with the likes of: Hibbo, Osman, Mirallas, Gibson, Pienaar, Howard all leaving, before we even mention any of our best players. All I hope for is that if RM is going to be replaced they do it early and allow the new guy enough time to sort the squad out as its going to be a very busy summer either way.

Peter Larkin
73 Posted 16/03/2016 at 18:01:09
Roberto is right when he stated he would of paid £100 million for Rom. Remember most on here stating the guy was a nut job? Maybe Roberto is not as stupid as he seems at times.
Lee Courtliff
74 Posted 17/03/2016 at 12:43:32
It doesn’t really matter.

I remember being devastated when we sold Andrei. A year later, Duncan left. It was heartbreaking to a teenager like I was then.

Players come and go, it’s just football. We couldn’t even hold onto Wayne and he’s a Blue!

The only difference now is that we’ll rake in a monumental transfer fee AND we now have that once mythical investor!

The team should be stronger in August than it is now. Regardless of whether or not Rom is still here.

Just win us the Cup before you leave!

Anthony Dwyer
75 Posted 27/03/2016 at 03:12:09
Peter, he is really really stupid.

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