Lukaku: Difficult to replace

by   |   19/06/2016   Comments  [Jump to last]

With the appointment of Ronald Koeman and the investment of billionaire Farhad Moshiri, this is a very exciting time for the Everton faithful. I'm sure Koeman is looking forward to assessing the players he has at his disposal and seeing where he needs to improve the squad.

One key issue he will want resolving is the future of our prolific goalscorer Romelu Lukaku. Prolific strikers are difficult to come by; we only have to look at our own history in the Premier League era to see how hard it is to secure a striker that finds the back of the net as frequently as Romelu does. Last season, he broke Kanchelskis's record of 16 Premier League goals for Everton by scoring 18 goals. In truth, he should've scored more but there appeared to be a rapid decline in his attitude on the pitch, which resulted in a real barren spell in front of goal.

Even Yakubu (as good as he was) only managed 15 Premier League goals (22 in all competitions) in his best ever season with us. So, if the inevitable happens, and Lukaku gets his wish of playing in the Champions League next season, which striker out there is capable of replacing him? I have found it hard to think of many players that could fill the void of Lukaku's goals; the only (realistic) player I can think of, currently plying his trade in the Premier League and who is worthy of replacing Romelu, is Wilfried Bony.

He had a prolific goal-scoring record at Swansea – a record that is every bit as impressive as Lukaku's... and he does hold the ball up better than the big Belgian. But, he is older at 27 years old and he does play in the dreaded African Cup of Nations, which means losing him for a portion of the season.

Anyway, I was struggling to think of worthy replacements, so I thought I'd look at the top goal-scoring charts of the top leagues across Europe to refresh my own memory about certain players and see if I could identify any gems:

La Liga:

Luis Suarez - 40 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo - 35 goals
Lional Messi - 26 goals
Karim Benzema - 24 goals
Neymar - 24 goals
Antoine Griezmann - 22 goals
Aritz Aduriz - 20 goals
Gareth Bale - 19 goals
Ruben Castro - 19 goals
Borga Gonzalez - 18 goals
Lucas - 17 goals

Italian Serie A:

Gonzalo Higuain - 36 goals
Paulo Dybala - 19 goals
Carlos Bacca - 18 goals
Mauro Icardi -16 goals
Leonardo Pavoletti - 14 goals
Mohamed Salah - 14 goals

German Bundesliga:

Robert Lewandowski - 30 goals
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 25 goals
Thomas Muller - 20 goals
Chicharito - 17 goals
Antony Modeste - 15 goals
Sandro Wagner - 14 goals
Claudio Pizarro - 14 goals
Soloman Kalou - 14 goals

French Ligue 1:

Ibrahimovic - 38 goals
Lacazette - 21 goals
Cavani - 19 goals
Batshuayi - 17 goals
Ben Yedder - 17 goals
Ben Arfa - 17 goals
Germain - 14 goals

Dutch Eredivisie:

Vincent Janssen - 27 goals
Luuk de Jong - 26 goals
Arkadiusz Milik - 21 goals
Dirk Kuyt - 19 goals
Sebastien Haller

Portugal Primeira Liga:

Jonas - 32 goals
Islam Slimani - 27 goals
Konstantinos Mitroglou - 20 goals
Leo Bonatini - 17 goals
Rafael Martins - 16 goals
Bruno Moreira - 14 goals

The stats above are only the goals scored in their league campaigns and do not include goals scored in cup competitions.

There's not many realistic worthy replacements on that list; my personal choices would be Lacazette, Janssen or Icardi. I only really watch the Spanish, German and Italian leagues when watching foreign football so I'm only going by what I read about Lacazette and Janssen.

I would be interested in anyone else's views and knowledge of players they think would be a good replacement for Lukaku. ToffeeWeb has contributors from all around the globe, with knowledge from various different leagues. Perhaps someone knows about another hidden gem like Niasse in the Russian league?

One thing is for sure, though: Lukaku will be very difficult to replace.

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