Barry tells Lukaku: stick with Blues to realise Champions League dream

Monday 6 February 2017  55 Comments  [Jump to last]
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gareth Barry has lauded Romelu Lukaku's work ethic and commitment to self-improvement but says the Belgian marksman shouldn't be in a hurry to leave Goodison Park in search of elite European football.

The veteran midfielder returned to the starting XI against Bournemouth on Saturday and helped the Blues stay on course for what would end up being a 6-3 victory before making way for Mason Holgate with 10 minutes to go.

Lukaku helped himself to four goals with a masterclass in finishing and that will once again have attracted the interest of Europe's top clubs. The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football and his belief that he is now ready for it but Barry says that Everton are once again on course to make that dream a reality with his goals capable of propelling them there.

"I don't think I have met a player who is so hungry to score goals," Barry told "He is desperate to keep on improving. He is a great finisher already but he won't stop there — he is working hard all the time.

"There is still room for improvement and he has got that personality and character to want to try to improve so I'm sure he won't stop now. He will be desperate to keep on breaking records."

“There have been a few stories over the last couple of years about Rom wanting to play football at the highest level, and that is the Champions League.

“I'm sure he would have had conversations with the powers at the Club and they are desperate to get there. With the signings we are making and the manager we have got at the minute, that is the road we want to go.

“Sometimes you have to be patient but I'm confident that, if Rom sticks around, Everton can get there."


Reader Comments (55)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:15:18
Glad to hear Gareth putting his weight behind the argument for Rom to stay. Although Rom will make his own mind up, I'm sure any young player would respect the advice/opinion of someone like Barry.

I hope so anyway! Get that contract signed Rom!

Oliver Molloy
2 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:31:47
And another year's contract for Gareth also!
Ian McDowell
3 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:47:09
What a pro Barry is. I couldn't believe it last week when Aid Boothroyd was appointed England U21 manager. What's happened to the fast tracking of former England players? Barry, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, either Neville dare I say it Carragher or Gerrard would all be ideal for that role.
James Byrne
4 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:48:27
I think keeping hold of Barry is just as important as keeping hold of Lukaku. Gareth Barry will be a great asset to the younger players and this type of advice to Lukaku is an example.

With some fantastic young talent coming through and getting first team football Barry will do a great job protecting and advising these lads on and off the pitch.

Peter Morris
7 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:10:10
I think if the club enter into an agreement to develop the Bramley-Moore Dock site, Lukaku and others will think very carefully about leaving Everton. It will also prove an additional draw to players with potential for the top when they have to option of joining the club.

For me, the one thing Everton have lacked in the Premier League era to properly compete is money. That's all. It has the fan base and the history. Our aging stadium and lack of income capacity has held the club back for 30 years and more.

Just look what money has done to propel Chelsea and Man City into the so called elite. Would players like Aguero, or David Silva, or Diego Costa, or Eden Hazard have joined Man City or Chelsea ten years ago? Not a chance.

If this stadium project is well managed (Elstone at the helm does not fill me with confidence), then there is no limit to this club's potential and drawing power in my opinion.

Patrick Murphy
8 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:16:26
Whatever Rom had for breakfast on Saturday morning, I hope they keep feeding him the same every matchday. He showed on Saturday what a player he can be. It's OK saying it was only Bournemouth, but the player still has to do his job no matter who the opponents may be.

I just wish that Rom showed that same attitude every match, obviously he won't score every game and he certainly won't bag four in a game for quite a while, but I wonder if knowing that Lookman would be up front with him gave him that pre-match confidence on Saturday?

The Rom we saw at Stoke wouldn't be missed by most sides, but the Rom we saw against Bournemouth would be missed by almost any team.

As an aside, there are some rumours going around that McCarthy has succumbed to another hamstring injury, therefore, Barry is still an important cog in the Everton midfield.

Anthony Dwyer
9 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:36:25
It's great to hear Barry talk us up, telling Rom to stick around, let's hope he takes the advise and signs a new deal.

That said, Barry owes Everton absolutely nothing, he's been a decent signing and represented us in a truly professional manner, but fans asking for him to be given another deal surely mustn't be aware that he has next years deal already in the bag, or they are just plain nuts.

Clubs can't go about giving players of Barry's age extra years willy-nilly, especially when we have players like Schneiderlin, Gana, McCarthy, Davies, Besic and young lads trying to break through already under contract.

I love Barry's professionalism, but I'd move him on at the end of this season.

Anto Byrne
10 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:37:25
Agree with most that it was a masterclass of a performance. I wonder if Rooney will be back in the summer?
Derek Wadeson
11 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:10:52
Gareth Barry was on TalkSport this morning talking to Jim White; he spoke well about Rom, Tom Davies, new ground and Koeman.

He came across really good in putting the current Everton set-up in a good light.

Peter Laing
12 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:11:28
Barry will hopefully be fast-tracked onto Koeman's coaching staff... consummate professional and all round good egg!!
Danny Broderick
13 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:36:02
If Lukaku were to leave us, he would have to be the main man somewhere. I don't think that would happen at most of the teams who could afford him – Chelsea, Man City, Bayern etc. It's a pretty good ace that we have in any negotiations.

Stay at Everton. You will play. You will score goals. We will get a new stadium. We are aiming for Europe next year, Champions League within 3.

If Rom stays with us for another 3 years, and leaves us for 𧴜 million having scored over 100 goals to join Real Madrid or PSG, I would have no problem with that. I would only asks that he gives us a chance to get him to where he wants to go. And if we are in the Champions League in a new stadium in 3 years, the only way he could leave us would be to a European giant that he couldn't refuse.

Don Alexander
14 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:30:45
Well said, Danny Broderick, and well said, Romelu Lukaku, after scoring four. To remind anyone who missed it he alluded to the squad needing to study the video to find out where they could improve on a 6-3 win. Music, at last, to my ears.

Add that to what Seamus has recently said about professional footballers needing to "get real" (I paraphrase) and the no fannying around attitude of big Ron that at last seems to be permeating the skull of even Ross Barkley and the future seems bright, the future seems blue.

Belief is the key, allied to hard work. Long may it continue. Top four this season is not beyond our lot providing they give their all in every part of every game. They'll get my unqualified support if they look like they're trying, like they have done since folding against Leicester in the cup.

Gordon Roberts
15 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:32:19
Once he starts scoring more goals against the so called top 4, or top 6, Rom's confidence will grow and will elevate him to another level. Good times ahead...
Kevin Elliott
16 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:44:53
Peter Laing @ 12
Totally agree.
Damian Wilde
17 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:35:26
Complete centre forward performance on Saturday. Not only was his finishing absolutely first class, but he help the ball up well, was strong and used his pace, some of these things were previously missing.

Favourite Rom goal from, Saturday? They were all superb, but I'll go for his last. It had everything; awareness, speed of thought, pace, POWER, skill, strength, eargerness and fantastic finishing.

What a joy, amazing he plays for us. Let's enjoy the moment, with many more to come. COYB.

Jim Hardin
18 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:46:53

Are you surprised at the studying video comment? You shouldn't be as Rom said that he studied himself, opponents' defenders and players, and other strikers to improve himself.

This disclosure came over a year ago and seemed to indicate he had been doing it for quite a while. He should have shown the film to Martinez!

Don Alexander
19 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:57:27
Jim, I am in so far as as Big Ron is still having to tell him about the value of his defensive duties. They matter, not to the denigration of his excellent attacking qualities, but to the improvement of the team and its results.

David Barks
20 Posted 06/02/2017 at 23:17:13
Defensive duties, Jesus Christ. Some of you could have the world's finest chef make you a five course meal, and all you would talk about afterward was that they were a bit slow refilling your water glass.
Derek Thomas
21 Posted 07/02/2017 at 01:19:39
Don @19; Some forwards are just accidents waiting to happen defending in their own box, Lukaku is one of these, Pienaar was another... keen as, but nah, on the edge of the box for the breakaway, or better still in Lukaku's case up near halfway, to occupy the CB's and stop them pumping it right back down our throats.

I've lost count over 50 years of televised football, how many times a goal or a pen ends up from a forward trying to defend... mostly the commentators are kind saying, "Well Barry, it was a bit of a forwards tackle tbh, the ref had no option really, it's a red card and a penalty."

The likes of Cahill, Jelavic, yes, by all means attack the ball and head it clear... even Fellaini, if he sticks to heading and keeps his elbows to himself.

But the only box I want to see Lukaku in is the opposition's.

Pete Gunby
22 Posted 07/02/2017 at 02:24:02
Don't know how often you watch but I've seen him win and clear defensive corners many times.
Bill Gienapp
23 Posted 07/02/2017 at 06:05:50
Danny (13) - Bingo! As much as Rom wants Champions League football, I think it's just as important to him to be "the man." Even if Real Madrid were interested, I doubt he'd want to be just another moon in orbit around planet Ronaldo. When you think about it, there just aren't that many elite clubs that presently offer an ideal fit, which is likely why the issue of a transfer has yet to be forced.

The biggest fear, of course, is that Chelsea and Costa appear headed for a messy divorce. If that happens, then they'll have a gaping hole at striker, (in all likelihood) be the defending champions and offer Rom the prospect of "unfinished business" at his boyhood club. That's definitely the scenario that genuinely worries me.

Darren Hind
24 Posted 07/02/2017 at 06:14:08
Every forward has "defensive duties"

There's a misconception that to ask a forward to be the first line of defence, is to ask him to expend all his energy and chase back 50 yards. That not the idea.

Lukaku and indeed Barkley have been guilty of switching off when the opposition gain the ball in their own half. By simply focusing and stepping in front on the guy with the ball they make themselves first line of defence.

They don't have to chase back at all, just position themselves better when a poor ass hands the opposition the ball. If a defender looks up and sees eleven opponents in front of him is options are more limited than the guy who sees nine or ten.

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 07/02/2017 at 06:57:03
I'm not sure Rom has the patience to wait and see with us. He's ambitious and wants to start winning trophies now

If we get a viable offer from one of the big boys this Summer, he will want to move and I think would back himself to become 'the man' wherever he goes. The question will be who out there sees him as fitting their system enough to pay the 㿼m+ that he will surely cost now?

Hopefully no-one, coz we will not find a more effective goal scorer.

Liam Reilly
26 Posted 07/02/2017 at 07:50:34
I can't see him staying. He wants to play Champions League and he's definitely good enough.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea will need a new front man in the summer; Chelsea to replace Costa and Wenger to keep his job and I'd suspect sizeable bids from those two.

Shame. But that's life. He's given us 4 years and, although the revolution has begun; I fear it's started to late to keep Rom.

Dan Egerton
27 Posted 07/02/2017 at 08:23:29
The problem Lukaku will face at an "elite" Champions League team is that it wont cater to his whims. It wont be built around him the way Everton is.

We can see his constant failure to score in Belgium where he is just another cog in the machine. Grass is never greener and all that.

Bill Gienapp
28 Posted 07/02/2017 at 09:02:41
Chelsea (assuming Costa departs) and PSG seem like the most logical landing spots for Rom, if any. Juventus would have been on the list as well, if they hadn't already gone and splashed €75-million on Higuain.

Arsenal desperately needs him, but they won't sniff our asking price.

Man City? Forget it – all Pep cares about is his precious system and Rom doesn't fit it. He's trying to shove Aguero out the door, for God's sake.

Man Utd? Not really an area of need and the presumption is that they're already in for Griezmann anyway.

I'm not sure what Barcelona would even do with him and there are already way too many egos at Real Madrid.

Bayern Munich? Maybe, I guess, but I don't really see it, to be honest. Just my two cents.

Eddie Dunn
29 Posted 07/02/2017 at 09:05:16
The penny has dropped with Lukaku. He has realised that if he tries his best, he will score lots of goals and earn his move in the summer.

I hope Walsh is lining-up our next striker.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 07/02/2017 at 09:37:44
I would never complain about them being to slow with the water, David@20, because that's something I could do myself!

Darren, has a good point and I would use the same two players to expand on it. Barkley and Lukaku both switch off when they are not goal-side and this can be frustrating because pinching the ball on the blind-side is one of the most effective ways in which to retain possession, especially when the opposition have pushed up the pitch.

Damien, what about Barkley's back-heel for your favourite goal on Saturday, mate? I know he left Big Rom a bit to much to do but the big man was on fire!

Stan Schofield
31 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:29:43
Lukaku is world class, and I believe Everton is the best place for him for the foreseeable future. Gareth Barry certainly thinks so, and I suspect Lukaku will – that's assuming he doesn't at the moment.
Martin Nicholls
32 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:30:20
Lukaku must be retained at all costs. Step one would be to make it crystal clear to him and his agent that he will not be sold to another Premier League club – I think the RS may have adopted this stance over Rat Boy when Arse came calling.

Options for a move would then be limited to perhaps Real, Bayern or PSG – the latter, despite their money have never come close to winning Champions League so that might narrow the field to two, neither of whom may see him as a player who will fit their style of play.

Step two of course would be to tie him to a long term contract and of course steps three and four would be to make the Champions League ourselves and build that shiny new stadium!

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:47:19
PSG would be the obvious choice as he will win the league title and domestic cup every year without even having to try.

Brian Williams
34 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:17:41
For those suggesting Rom wouldn't be happy unless he's "the man" so therefore he wouldn't go to certain clubs. I think you underestimate the mentality of the man himself. I suspect he believes he could be "the man" wherever he goes.

I think he's waiting to see where we finish in the league before he decides whether to sign the offered extension to his contract. I think if we "just" miss out on the top four (which is possible) he may believe that with the addition of several players in the summer we could achieve top four next season.

We have to realize that Rom is a very single minded fella with a clear view of where he wants to go and when he wants to get there. I don't think, if we didn't keep making significant progress, ANY amount of money could make him stay, I really don't. The lad wants to lift trophies, and win titles. I just wish, hope, pray that he does that with us!

Xavier Spencer
35 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:41:39
Double-edged sword him being top of the Premier League scoring charts. Great for us but brings more attention. If he finishes top at season's end, I truly believe he may be the first 𧴜 million player.

PSG, Real will have the money and remember the weak sterling makes him cheaper for them. Goes without saying that I want him to stay but will the player be able to resist if someone like Real Madrid came in for him?

Don Alexander
36 Posted 07/02/2017 at 12:32:20
I'm not talking about defending in our own area, folks, I'm talking about defending in the opposition's half when we've lost possession.

Call it "pressing" if necessary, but making zero effort to close down, tackle, harry or press the opponent in possession is how Rom and Ross in particular have let themselves and their own defence down for years. That's what Koeman has repeatedly said and he's right.

Credit to Ross on Saturday for actually deigning to tackle, at last!

James Flynn
37 Posted 07/02/2017 at 12:54:34
Still haven't seen an indication he wants to leave. Don't doubt he wants a big, fat, pay rise. But wants to leave?

Lescott and Stones wanted to leave. Lukaku, though, when has he shown he wants out?

Brian Furey
38 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:01:27
We are all quick to blame Kenwright when something goes wrong or we don't sign players but you gotta give credit to him & Martinez for bringing in Romelu in the first place. Moyes craved a big money striker like that for years but Martinez made it happen with his crazy positivity charm.

We struggled for years to sign top strikers and so we had to take a gamble on somebody who had potential but maybe a manager didn't believe in him. Hopefully it's the same with Schneiderlin.

Many on here thought it was a huge waste of money on a player who thought he was better than he really was and there are still a good few who can't admit they were wrong and that he's still a lazy big lump who can't control the ball or win headers etc. The fact is the lad is still young (23) yet he's about to become our top premier league scorer only after 4 seasons.

If I'm to be honest I think we are changing as a club but it will be a slow process. I don't think we will become like Man City or Chelsea but I'd be happy if we were a top 4 club most seasons. However, I think Rom, like Rooney, Suarez, Van Persie and many others realise they could stay and be loyal to the club or they want to move to a club with real prospects of winning trophies.

I think Rom knows he's still got a lot to learn and he's got a manager who believes in him and has built a team around him. He plays every game and rarely gets taken off and so he knows that, if he stays here for a while, he will be allowed to grow and develop and be ready for his BIG MOVE to a top club. He knows if he moves to a Chelsea, Man Utd or top European club he won't be allowed that time to develop and won't get as much game time.

I think he is determined to go back to Chelsea and prove himself there that Mourinho was wrong to let him go but, if a bigger European club come knocking, then he'll like that even more so, but I reckon he'll stay with us maybe 1 or 2 more seasons as he likes what he sees from Koeman and Moshiri.

John Daley
39 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:18:49
James @37,

Lescott and Stones both had serious suitors who weren't just sniffing about, but had actually slapped down sizeable bids to back up their interest.

Totally different scenario to Rom's agent or arl fella saying "I heard some tasty little Spanish sort/your 'mutton dressed as lamb' mouthy cockney ex with the lazy eye was checking you out. You're in there, son. Gagging for goals, they are."

Colin Glassar
40 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:46:30
A bit off topic here but there are a couple of Leicester players who might be up for grabs in the summer (after they're relegated) who might improve us and help Rom achieve his dreams. I'm thinking Schmeicel, Mahrez and Gray.

I'm still kicking myself for not putting a fiver on Leicester getting relegated as I confidently predicted it at the end of last season.

Trevor Lynes
41 Posted 07/02/2017 at 21:14:53
Lots of the EFC legends like Vernon, Young, Royle, Hickson, Latchford, Lineker, Sharp, Ferguson etc etc never went near their own defensive areas. Most stayed up all the time and most of them were very well supported. You never saw Owen, Fowler, Shearer, Cole, Van Nistleroy, Henry etc etc etc ever defending.

At Everton since the Premier League started we have absolutely ruined lone strikers who were supposed to run out wide and hold the ball. They all stopped doing their real job ie; score goals.

Lukaku is already very well known by the big clubs and Chelsea will never forget the wonder goal he scored against them last season.

I will go out on a limb here and say that big Rom is the best all around striker I have seen in an Everton shirt and I include the days of Vernon and Young He is tough marked in every match and I know that all the pre-match tactics of opponents revolve around stopping him. ong may he stay playing for Everton!

Jason Broome
42 Posted 08/02/2017 at 03:11:42
If we have any ambition then keeping our best players is a must now.

Lukaku's finishing on Saturday was equal to Lewandowski or Aubameyang and he's still improving. Utterly clinical. Best striker in the league.

Buying a replacement who scores this often and easy will be near impossible.

We have reached a place where players who would have walked into our first team a few years ago are being loaned or sold to others.

We have a legendary player as our manager, a billionaire chairman, a new stadium, quality youngsters and a bunch of £20 million plus players on the pitch. Why are we still thinking like a selling club?

We should be competing with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal for players in key positions. Those players should be capable of smashing our self imposed glass ceiling.

It is weird how we can compete with the big boys on the field (smashing one of them 4-0) but we're still scared to compete against them in the transfer market. Giving up the ghost when they come knocking. Would we have sold Southall back in the day? Hell no. Fuck em. Give Lukaku what he wants and let's back him up with quality in the transfer market.

The alternative worries me. I despair if we sell him and buy a Belfodil or another Niasse. Our club is very capable of doing that and there another opportunity to progress could be lost.

Will Mabon
43 Posted 08/02/2017 at 06:39:28
Just read another couple of media talk-ups about a move to Chelsea, again. For now, it's still part of life when you're second tier in the top tier. Of course, the media know their place in the pyramid and will always help their perceived masters.

Over to the big guns at our club – let's see what they've got, how serious they really are about moving us on.

James Flynn
44 Posted 08/02/2017 at 07:03:09
John (39) - Fair enough JD. Take that part out, then. I'll stick by the rest. Haven't seen any indication he wants to leave.

Nick Armitage
45 Posted 08/02/2017 at 08:05:22
Imagine how good he'd be if he ran around like a headless chicken as well.
Will Mabon
46 Posted 08/02/2017 at 08:59:00
Nick, would that be a high-pressing headless chicken?
Brent Stephens
47 Posted 08/02/2017 at 09:17:09
Will - very good!
Thomas Surgenor
48 Posted 08/02/2017 at 15:51:55
Colin, I too am disappointed that I didn't take that same bet. I agree on Kasper and Gray but disagree with Mahrez. I'm convinced the media hype him up a little too much and he isn't all they crack him up to be.

Everyone can have one stand-out season, à la Marcus Stewart, Marco Negri, Stephen Ireland. Its about doing it over and over.

Not saying that I would be unhappy if we signed him – just that I think there are better options out there for our style of play.

Alan McGuffog
49 Posted 08/02/2017 at 16:00:07
Surely this is were Steve Walsh starts to earn his coin. The club will know by now if Rom is leaving; my view is that it is inevitable. o, the club decides on a reserve price. Let's say 㿲 million as a starter.

Walsh is told that that money will go towards finding two strikers who can hit the ground running. Walsh gets the job under way and we have them in place by July. Simple. Now I must get back to sorting out the problems in the Middle East

Jim Hardin
50 Posted 08/02/2017 at 16:01:46
Brent, Nick, and Will,

I am still pissed that, instead of hogging the scoring opportunities all to himself, Rom didn't try to find teammates to pass the ball to, in order to build team unity and show he puts the club first. After all, he only got the backpass to the keeper because he was lazy and walking back to his position instead of pressing. But then again, Rom is a selfish, scuffing, poor first touch, lazy, negative, horrible person whom Everton can't get rid of soon enough.

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 08/02/2017 at 16:22:53
Jim - understood!
John G Davies
52 Posted 08/02/2017 at 16:42:19
Different coaches advocate different pressing systems. Only pressing when the ball goes into an area defined by the coach is one system.

Could we not get a system that gives us the best of both worlds. Conserving Rom's energy for his main job of scoring goals. I can't see a problem in having Rom and say Barkley stay goalside and close down the space between full back and centre half left and right but without over committing.

If the centre midfielder of the opponents drops in between two split centre halfs 70-80 yards from our goal,let him have it.

Start the press on the halfway line maybe.
Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 08/02/2017 at 16:45:58
Understood, Brent. That back-pass was never intended for the keeper, surely?
Brent Stephens
54 Posted 08/02/2017 at 17:02:41
Tony, I think the point was just that he latched onto the pass, whoever it was intended for.
Tony Abrahams
55 Posted 08/02/2017 at 17:15:36
Understood, Brent, I just thought that Big Jim liked Lukaku!
Brent Stephens
56 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:25:52
Tony, I think Jim was being sarcastic.
John Wilson
57 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:54:44
World class, Lukaku is very good but I think 'world class' at this stage is rather premature. Let's not over exaggerate from a 6-3 win or his previous performances that Lukaku is world class. He may be word class even working class, but not world class. Can I remind you that we are Everton and not Barcelona. He is Lukaku, not Aguero, not Messi.

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