Lukaku: Koeman convinced me staying at Everton was right

Tuesday 1 November 2016  25 Comments  [Jump to last]
Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku has spoken of how he and Ronald Koeman came quickly to an understanding over the summer as the new manager spoke to him about his future with Everton.

Koeman was appointed as successor to Roberto Martinez, the man who signed Lukaku from Chelsea on a permanent deal in 2014, at a time when Lukaku was being linked with a big-money move to the likes of Chelsea and Juventus.

Having scored 25 times in all competitions for a struggling Blues side under Martinez, the Belgian striker felt he was ready to take the next step in his career by joining a club that could offer him Champions League football this year.

While that move never materialised, perhaps in part because of his chequered form in the European Championships and the enormous price tag Everton put around his neck as a clear sign that they didn't want to sell him, Lukaku hints that he might have stayed anyway after speaking with Koeman during Euro2016.

"When he called me during the European Championship I told him how I felt," Lukaku said in The Guardian.

"I was surprised how honest he was with me. He was honest in the way that he wanted to work and how he wanted the team to play. He saw me as an important figure and a big character.

"I told him I am not a guy that is going to cause any problems. I am a guy who has to be at 100 per cent and that is what I am going to do. He knew it straight away."

“When I came back in I was working more than ever before, to get fit and to do my best for the team. The first few games didn't go so well but I was getting physically better. When I went with Belgium, I told them when I got back I would be at 100%. Since then I haven't looked back. He is really helping me a lot with a lot of clinical advice.

“He was really clear in what he wanted to improve. Also the consistency. He has told me off only one time this season. It was in training and about the type of movements he wanted me to make. He was clear in his idea — there is a real clarity about what he wants on the pitch. That helps me. I have never started a season so well.”

Having committed his future verbally to Goodison Park for another season, Lukaku has underlined his importance to Everton by scoring seven of the team's 15 Premier League goals so far as the Blues have made a solid start to life under Koeman.

Whether he elects to his extend his contract — he will have two years remaining at that point — next summer could rest on how successful Everton are this term and whether Koeman is able to steer the club back into Europe or its first trophy since 1995.


Reader Comments (25)

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Paul Newton
1 Posted 01/11/2016 at 13:52:45
'I was surprised how honest he was with me'.

Why? A reflection on his predecessor? Or someone else's lack of honesty in the past when discussing his career?

It makes you wonder what he has been told previously.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:08:26
If Koeman convinced him to stay, then good on Koeman. We need class players like Lukaku if we're to compete with the best.
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:14:46
It scares me a little how very reliant we are on Lukaku at the moment. Don't like to think where we might be if he were injured for a serious amount of time. Perhaps Valencia or someone else would pleasantly surprise us but hard to believe.

Lukaku seems to have stepped up again this season. He's holding the ball up a bit better and his touch looks a little sharper (still way to go mind). If he carries on this form it won't be long till we get offered the kind of bucks that would probably be hard to turn down by clubs that he'd definitely rather play for.

Oliver Molloy
4 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:16:23
Sorry for my cynicism, when are Belgium playing next!
Peter Murray
5 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:22:16
Olly, your criticism off our non-team player - well deserved, still remember his performance at Wembley - just pathetic - long to be remembered - unfortunately.

This on other items, as well - If yesterday's first-half performance was one of a high intensity by players in blue, then please get us different, more competitive players in the January window!!!

We lack totally a desire to keep the ball, that was completely remedied in the second-half display – but why does this one-half display consistently get repeated, week-in & week-out? Makes MotD horrendous to watch, other teams being completely competitive, even when losing!!

We deserve MORE – especially when at home, & consistently blaming a referee, missing the main point, even if he was pathetic – just play to the whistle, regardless!

Surely any honeymoon period is well over – many players in blue are just completely inadequate. Other than actually scoring, what does this centre forward actually contribute to our team effort? Poor control, effort, attitude zero & body language pathetic – always offside... strolling around???

Here for a season, what a fantastic decision made!!!

Steavey Buckley
6 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:55:18
The reason why Barkley is asked to score more goals, because everyone beside Lukaku does not regularly score them. If Lukaku gets injured, Everton are in big trouble.

The Everton tactics also prevent the scoring of more goals, because Barry and Gueye are further back in midfield away from Barkley who is further foreward, so less midfield players in the business area and last third, mean less potential goal scorers.

Even worse, unless Coleman gets foreward and with Baines injured there are less crosses coming into the box. As proved by Lukaku who has to go wide to be his own provider from the wings.

Brian Harrison
7 Posted 01/11/2016 at 15:22:27
I guess Koeman knew without Lukaku this team would struggle to score goals. So I am not surprised that he did everything he could to convince him to stay for one more season. Also the 㿷 million asking price limited the number of clubs who could afford that outlay.

The worry is he agreed to only stay 1 more year, I guess they discussed what options he would have after this season, especially if we don't qualify for Europe at all.

Let's hope that we do qualify for Europe and Lukaku and his agent realize we can be challenging for a top 4 place although that is a big ask. But, if we don't qualify and we sell Lukaku, it would be very difficult to get another striker who could get even near his goals return.

Liam Reilly
8 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:16:13
I doubt anything other than Champions League football will convince Lukaku to stay another season and that looks a very tall ask when you look at the form of the others in the mix.

Still time for Koeman and Walsh to earn their stripes.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:16:46
He's a goal scorer, but we also need him to become a goal provider. When he's in the mood, he's capable of doing most things, but he also has to become the link player if this team is to prosper.
Geoff Evans
10 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:31:14
Lukaku is doing what he's paid to do, his record shows that. It's about time one or two of the others started to step up to the plate consistently and earn their inflated wages.

John Pierce
11 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:35:09
Nice of everyone to sing Lukaku's praises, a goal record that cannot be sniffed at.

However, the article made me think that Everton needed to bridge the gap for the next couple of windows, keeping Rom and selling Stones clearly was the plan. You can always find a decent defender, forwards not so much.

Koeman has been clever, not asking for anything more than a season from Rom, this you would think will give him enough time to find the right replacements should he leave, if he doesn't then all the better.

Rom had no options in summer otherwise he'd have left. I have no beef with him, he's consistently held up his side of the bargain with his goals alone.

But I think Everton held all the cards here, and Rom's kind of suggesting he did us all a favour and stayed 'cos of the honest talking from Koeman...

A lot of talk about him and Bolaise, him and Ross, I happen to think that playing him left of Rom will work, suggested this during his poor form he plays as a winger, more space, job simplified and less exposure to mistakes.

I think coming in from the left helps with his shooting and if Rom gets this then Barkley plays most balls through onto Rom's left foot and Bolaise bombs the crosses from the right

3-4-3 Williams, Jagielka, Holgate, Baines, Barry, Gana, Coleman, Barkley, Lukaku, Bolaise

Mark Riding
14 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:38:09
My link above takes you to an interview he's given to his Belgian coach Henry... He's very honest, and it's worth a watch.
Darren Hind
15 Posted 01/11/2016 at 19:49:35
Thanks, Romelu, lad.

Great to know you stayed because you wanted to... I was worried you only stayed because nobody offered you an alternative.

Paul Thompson
16 Posted 01/11/2016 at 21:41:11
For those with the inclination – Rom's 50 goals for us:

For the haters, cover your eyes and go "Lalalalala.....

Anthony Dwyer
17 Posted 01/11/2016 at 22:27:10
I think Rom is shit and we should have bought Bony in the first place, like a lot of ToffeeWebbers said... 😐
Anthony Dwyer
18 Posted 01/11/2016 at 22:27:34
Jimmy Sørheim
19 Posted 01/11/2016 at 23:12:04
I have always liked Lukaku as a talented striker, but Koeman has to reign his attitude in a bit more.

Start by telling Lukaku to stop talking to the press, and start to focus on his job, and getting better and better.

Bony would be a decent second choice, or we should get Alvaro Negredo.

Jack Convery
20 Posted 01/11/2016 at 23:46:24
I hate to think where we would be with Lukaku's goals. I stated in the summer he had to stay and thankfully he did. His goals record is excellent for someone of his age and games played.

Also he has got most of those goals playing for WBA and us. Not for the so-called big clubs. He usually plays up front on his own too. He is fast becoming a leader and every team needs as many of those as it can get.

He has helped Bolasie to settle in very quickly and challenged him to score 10 goals – so he's motivating those around him. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea but his goals are vital to us and he's an integral part of what Koeman's trying to put together.

Barry Jones
21 Posted 02/11/2016 at 00:37:46
I suppose there are many different motivations for wanting to stay or leave. I just read that Sissoko chose Spurs ahead of Everton because they are a MUCH bigger club in his estimation. He said he had no intention of joining us.
Danny O'Neill
22 Posted 02/11/2016 at 01:08:17
It's not the job of Gueye and Barry to score goals, they are there to break up play.

With the players we have, I feel we are still playing (in-the-main) a 4-2-3-1.

This formation played correctly, always ensures you have midfield cover to allow a full back (not both ala Roberto) to push on and that the 4 attacking players (the 3-1) don't have to worry too much about getting back because theoretically (again – if played correctly), you always have 5 sitting.

Germany invented it, almost won the 2010 World Cup with it and then did in 2014. With the right players, almost the perfect formation, in my opinion.

Lukaku didn't go wide to provide for himself on Sunday; he showed good intelligence and hold up play to wait to provide for Barkley.

Zahid Ibrahim
23 Posted 02/11/2016 at 03:26:36
I totally agree with Danny. 4-2-3-1 is indeed a superior formation with supports freedom to attack (3-1 plus at least one fullback) while maintaining sufficient defensive cover (with 2 x defensive midfielders - Barry & Gueye).

Our players still getting used to this formation though. Once they are more familiar, results will start to show more consistently.

Sam Hoare
24 Posted 02/11/2016 at 07:16:28
Not sure why we didn't pull out the stops for Moussa Dembele this Summer. Looks an excellent young prospect who could have played alongside Lukaku or replaced him if in need of a rest. Him or Bony would have surely been a better bet than Valencia.
David Connor
25 Posted 02/11/2016 at 16:21:17
Yeah right, Rom. Whatever you say... And I thought loyalty was a thing of the past.
Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 02/11/2016 at 18:33:13
Danny (#22), you make good sense but Jimmy! My God, Negredo is stinking Boro out. One goal and at 31 years old, he would have been a silly buy.

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