Lukaku nominated for PFA player of the year awards

Thursday 13 April 2017  61 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton's Romelu Lukaku has been nominated for the 2016-17 PFA Players' Player of the Year and Players' Young Player of the Year awards.

The Belgian striker is currently enjoying the most prolific season of his careers, leading the Premier League goalscoring charts with 23.

24 next month, Lukaku also qualifies for the Young Player of the Year category.

Both awards are recognition from the players of their peers' performance over the season and are separate from the football writers' awards, nominees for which will be named soon.

Two Everton players have been named PFA Player of the Year since its inception in 1973-74 — Peter Reid won in the title-winning year of 1985 while Gary Lineker received the accolade the following season after racking up 30 league goals, 40 in all competitions.

Players' Player of the Year nominees:

N'Golo Kante, Chelsea
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United
Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Players' Young Player of the Year nominees:

Dele Alli - Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane - Tottenham Hotspur
Michael Keane - Burnley
Romelu Lukaku - Everton
Jordan Pickford - Sunderland
Leroy Sane - Manchester City


Reader Comments (61)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:01:32
Hard to see him winning either one... but a nice accolade by itself.
Peter Morris
2 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:04:21
Rom has no chance. Wrong club in the wrong city.
Mike Green
3 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:13:51
As winner of the golden boot (surely?) he ought to be in with a shout for both. However, I expect the young player will go to Delle Ali, and the Players Player I imagine to Kante or possibly Ibrahimovic.
Minik Hansen
4 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:16:35
It's unpredictable, surely though Lukaku will get the Golden Boot.
Alexander Murphy
5 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:31:01
There is a media bias which not only promotes certain clubs and anything that their players do, but also does so disproportionately to reality. Not only is this overblown favouritism, the continual language in which anything and everything being said is couched in the most glowing terms. It isn't accidental, it's institutional propaganda.

Do I think that Romelu Lukaku will win either of these awards? Absolutely not.

These are the same people who continually indeed relentlessly, attempt to sell him and Barkley along. The same people who pay more attention to their perceived faults and draw attention to them at every turn. Frequently these are ex-players, who themselves had glaring shortcomings in their own play, though conveniently they featured for the closed society of favoured clubs.

Their logic, if it even is logic, is that playing amongst better players makes you a better player. Yet day after day they seek to persuade that these talents need to move. How then is our fine club expected to accumulate sufficient talent to break through this perceived cycle of mediocrity?

It is simply because telling the same old lies for the money gets easier and easier. They keep persuading us to admire the emperor's new robes because it pays well.

I still firmly believe that he will end the season as the top scorer in the Premier League. Had he been playing for any of the media playthings, then he could conceivably have won both these awards.

Brian Williams
6 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:34:34
Kante and Ali. Bet on those two.
Gerry Quinn
7 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:42:40
Nice one in today's press conference from Ron:

“No [I don't know where Lukaku wants to go]. Maybe I wait for the call from Drogba to tell me where he wants to go.”

Rip the Chelski bastards off – nothing less than £80 million!

Jim Harrison
8 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:43:49
Kane is back playing; I wouldn't bet against him getting the Golden Boot.
Kevin Rowlands
9 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:47:32
Sorry, I can't warm up to the lad and never will. It doesn't matter how many goals he scores... for me, he's disrespected the club, fans, managers and teammates too many times these last few seasons.

Now he's even got Drogba gobbing off. Please go; thanks for the memories.

Brian Wilkinson
10 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:59:04
Just a shame Tom Davies only came into the team in January, he would have been up there for Young Player of the Season.

Kante will get the Player of the Season, Rom's best chance is Young Player of the Season.

Kim Vivian
11 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:12:10
I know he's redshite but I'm surprised Mane hasn't been nominated.
Paul Conway
12 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:13:11
Kevin Rowlands @9,

Would that be because he is keen on Champions League football?

According to Ronald Koeman today, Ross Barkley has mentioned to him that he wants Champions League football too – and Koeman replied "So do I!"

Alexander Murphy
13 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:23:37
Further to my rant above, please just take this fine example from BBC iPlayer into account.

The available MotD2 features a picture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and two Sunderland defenders. Zlatan appears to be being fouled.
The blurb says, "Jason Mohammed presents highlights of Sunderland v Manchester United and Everton v Leicester City, as well as goals from Saturday's games".

This, despite the fact that the main game was the six goalfest at Goodison Park and not the three-nil rollover at an emptying Stadium of Light.

Now, just consider this alternative:
Picture of 18 year old Tom Davies wheeling away having just scored the joint fastest goal this season.

An alternative image could have been EPL top scorer arms outstretched having buried his second of the match.

Blurb instead reads "Jason Mohammed presents highlights of resurgent Champions Leicester City as they visit Everton plus Sunderland v Manchester United as well as the goals from Saturday's games".

This perfectly illustrates how the truth is both manipulated and eroded.

Shane Corcoran
14 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:25:41
Lukaku doesn't deserve to win it and he most likely won't.

No Liverpool players included. How does that fit in with the usual Liverpool bias argument? Aren't these awards voted for by the players?

Pickford and Lukaku are nominated from outside what's perceived to be the favoured clubs. Of course Spurs weren't a favoured club a few years ago but now, somehow, are.

Alexander, you should take a look at what's happening in Syria if you want to see media manipulation.

Alexander Murphy
15 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:38:24
Shane, I have recently done some work in a house for some Syrian refugees. Kind warm and intelligent Dad, polite well behaved kids. His stories as I was doing my work left me sobbing in my van once I had driven around the corner. I couldn't bear to let them see a grown man cry.

But this is an Evertonians' website, so that's why I was talking about Everton.

Shane Corcoran
16 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:55:48
Just a joke, Alexander. Well done on your efforts.
John G Davies
17 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:55:59
Deservedly so.
Brian Williams
18 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:56:13
Yeh, come on lads let's not politicize ToffeeWeb. It's an Everton fansite.
Shane Corcoran
19 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:59:45
Politicise it?

Alexander was interested in media manipulation, I suggested he look at the situation in Syria, party tongue in cheek.

Steady Brian.

Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:06:02
"He [Lukaku] told me he won't sign a new contract," Koeman said at his press conference on Thursday.

Alexander Murphy
21 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:06:57
I didn't take exception nor offence to Shane's comment. There is a steely ring of truth to it, I fully accept that. Perhaps though, I could have made it clear that that was OK. Because, it is.

An occasional wakeup does us good.
No problem Shane.

And, via a very good mate. Big Rom is off. Won't say why, but I completely believe him.

Shane Corcoran
22 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:08:36
I fully understood and understand Alexander.

Simon Bradley
23 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:30:26
I think Kante will win the Player of the Season, and Dele Alli the Young Player of the Season.

Rom will win the golden boot though.

And then he's off. After what Koeman said in his press conference, it's obvious he's not going to sign/stay, so let his price inflate even further when he reaches the 30 goal mark for the season, coupled with these nominations – with the stupid prices of players these days we can get £80 mil for this lad.

I don't want him to go, and not sure we could replace him adequately, but that's todays football.

Ste Traverse
24 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:40:21
Kante is a cert to get the main award and rightly so. The lad has been outstanding this season.

And despite the cry-arsing by Alexander above that Rom won't win either award, he doesn't deserve too as there's been better players in the Premier League this season, it's as simple as that.

It's nothing to do with the usual football fan paranoia about a so-called 'media bias'.

Brian Williams
26 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:00:57
I wish people wouldn't take it for granted Lukaku is leaving this summer because he won't sign a new contract.

Should the board/management decide to keep him for another season then he'll be going nowhere. It's NOT just up to him!

Tony McNulty
27 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:06:38
Correct, Brian (#26). But if he decides to start playing with the mobility of the lead singer in Bad Manners, there is no point in keeping him.
Michael Ward
28 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:09:34
The question is: Will Rom even win the Everton Player of the Season?

Gana must have a strong shout...

Brian Williams
29 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:12:37
Tony (#26),

I personally think that might be a chance worth taking. In fact Mr Moshiri might well decide to fully keep him to his contract on the premise that he's not gonna intentionally play bad as his stock would drop. Moshiri might see having the leagues top scorer for another two seasons worth the 㿲-80m being bandied about.

I know it's not likely but I'd love to see the club make a stand and say "You signed a contract; we'd like you to honour it."

PS-Tony there are some that think he's played with the mobility of Buster Bloodvessel (I think he's called) a few times already this season. :-)

Brent Stephens
30 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:15:03
Shortlist for Players' Young Player of the Season includes Lukaku...

Now I thought he was not supposed to be young any longer?

Tom Dodds
31 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:16:52
Oh dreary me. Just get the £90 mill for him and then Auf Wiedersein, cock.

It's all become tantamount to a fuckin pregnancy now.

James Stewart
32 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:17:56
Kante and Alli nailed on.
Brian Furey
33 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:21:40
If we couldn't hold Lescott and Stones against their will, why would it be any different for Lukaku?

I'd say becoming season top scorer was one of his career goals and now he's so close to achieving that I'd say he thinks he's ready to play for his first love, Chelsea.

I'd imagine he sees himself being top scorer in the Champions League for next few seasons

Tony McNulty
34 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:23:21
Brian, more seriously, I suspect he wouldn't "act the maggot" as the Irish put it. But in truth, the world of honouring contracts in football has disappeared in the rearview mirror.

And given what Ronald has already said about Ross being sold unless he signs, I suspect Lukaku will be gone.

He might have stayed had we made Champions League, but we won't. It sounds like, from comments he made a while back, that he felt we would have had a chance for Champions League had we signed certain players in January. You probably recall him saying that he knew certain parties could have been signed.

Brian Williams
35 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:35:31
Shane (#19),

Three things.

It's very often impossible to convey lightheartedness through text alone so it was less than obvious that you were joking.
Secondly, the Syria situation isn't exactly a well of subject matter for jokes so you can surely understand anyone not realising you were "joking".

Thirdly. Bearing in mind my first two points, which I think have merit, I merely suggested we shouldn't politicise ToffeeWeb, so no need for "steady" thanks. ;-)

Brian Wilkinson
36 Posted 13/04/2017 at 19:04:47
It does not matter if we sign Messi, Lewandowski, Ronaldo, Kante... if we lose one game, Lukaku will still be bleeting on about wanting Champions league football, he's as good as made his mind up.

Should Everton play hardball? In a way, yes, until we get a crazy offer, then sell and rebuild.

If there is something as a thing called Karma, we would nail a top 4 spot next season, we nailed top 4 without Rooney, we won the league without Lineker, we will do so again with or without Lukaku.

Maybe one day, Lukaku will understand what Everton is all about and what it means to the fans.

If you want to stay, sign the contract, if not follow your dream and watch your head going through the double gates at Goodison, but you will never ever be bigger than Everton Football Club.

John Audsley
37 Posted 13/04/2017 at 19:12:42
I think if Rom doesn't get his wish he will down tools.

He took his bat and ball home completely on the field in Mad Martinez's last few weeks so no reason to say it won't happen again.

Kante and Alli will win but Rom has had an excellent season.

Mick Davies
38 Posted 13/04/2017 at 19:59:27
Jim @ 8,

I personally don't think penalties should count, and Kane has at least 4 while, to my knowledge, Rom hasn't scored a single one. Latch never took pens up until the '30 goal' game as he didn't believe they were a striker's job.

I also believe Lukaku will be allowed to leave this summer, and hope he lives to regret it: he didn't fit in at Champions League Chelsea, but has shone for WBA and Everton, sides who play a different way to the elite rich clubs of Europe.

I just hope that, when we're sitting in a packed 60,000 capacity state of the art stadium on the banks of the world famous Mersey watching Athletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern etc being put to the sword by our young new mobile attack, and he's on the bench at the Bridge because they don't play to his style, he will be wishing he'd stayed with the future Champions of Europe... (Well, you never know!)

Kevin Rowlands
39 Posted 13/04/2017 at 20:14:59
Brian, I agree.

If he researched football history he would find out Everton have always been a bigger club than fucking Chelsea until that Russian crook took over them and we had a clown in charge for the last 20 plus years, sod him.

Jay Wood
40 Posted 13/04/2017 at 20:47:21
Brian Williams @ 18

"Yeh, come on lads let's not politicize ToffeeWeb. It's an Everton fansite."

Said the man who recently in a thread about a (rumoured) summer trip to Tanzania by Everton (Link) got very sniffy and political.

Tony Hill
41 Posted 13/04/2017 at 20:59:36
Alexander (#15), actually that is precisely the sort of thing that I do want to read about on this site, as well as the football. It is part of what makes TW so appealing – the wider awareness of the world. I found it very touching and important in its way, if I may say so.
Eric Myles
42 Posted 13/04/2017 at 21:12:24
Brian (#29),

I know it's not likely but I'd love to see the club make a stand and say "You signed a contract, we'd like you to honour it."

The last person we had that honoured his contract got a right slagging for it.

Brian Wilkinson
43 Posted 13/04/2017 at 21:55:00
I think if we hold on until next season his price will drop, I would rather start with people who want to play for Everton. I know Mirallas has had his moments, but there's a player who wants to play for Everton, I hope we keep hold off him.

I was gutted when Lineker left, he never asked for a move, the club sold Lineker. The difference with Lukaku is we gave him the chance and took the gamble, we gave him first team football, in return we have had goals a plenty and his monthly rant about wanting a move.

If he signs great, if not take the money this Summer, then onwards and upwards for Everton.

Paul Baker
44 Posted 13/04/2017 at 22:12:26
Both Kante and Alli are way overrated and overhyped. They're up there with the best in their positions, but neither is the league's best performer by any means.

The former isn't any better than Gana (objectively; and I'm not talking about the numbers only) but just plays for league leaders' team stacked with players 2.5x better than Everton's. He's more exposed to the public then and because of that gets more plaudits. It's also worth noting he's on the same level as two seasons ago, while playing for Caen in Ligue 1.

Alli meanwhile has played most of the season as a second striker and not a midfielder, hence the relatively high number of goals he's scored.

Ernie Baywood
45 Posted 13/04/2017 at 22:19:00
Disagree on Kante, Paul. I think either he or Hazard will win it.

That said, it's been a strikers award previously so Rom will be a decent chance.

Simon Smith
46 Posted 13/04/2017 at 23:01:01
If you look at the full list of previous winners of PFA Player of the Season it is by no means always the top goal scorer.

We as Everton fans quite often think that the media is biased against us. I don't believe this to be true. Yes sky favour past Liverpool and Man Utd players as pundits, but let's be honest, there aren't that many ex-Everton players from the premier league era that could be classed as major footballing personalities.

Love him or hate him, Lukaku has raised the profile of Everton since he has been with us. We are a re-emerging force and we should embrace this. Our time will come!

I grew up in a time where Everton consistently battled relegation, Moyes took us up a notch, but we are in the best position as a club that I can ever really remember.

Us fans are as guilty as anyone in keeping the underdog mentality as we always feel that we are given a rough deal! Let's just be grateful that we are the team on the biggest uphill curve right now! Let's get rid of the negative thoughts against our amazing club.

Jim Hardin
47 Posted 13/04/2017 at 23:41:09
Wow, when the players, who actually play the professional game, both against him and possibly those who play with him, nominate the person, one would think they do it because he is viewed as being one of the best in the Premier League. He absolutely does deserve the award because he is up for it, along with the others on the list.

That he is the only Everton player on either list speaks volumes for how well he has done despite the limitations of the rest of the players and the management. That some are still slagging him off speaks volumes of the limitations of some fans.

Lewis Barclay
48 Posted 14/04/2017 at 01:03:06
The guy scores a lot of goals but he never shows up in the big games though (three goals against teams above us, in three games against two sides; Man City and Spurs).

I honestly believe this is the peak of his career, if he leaves this summer. His game isn't good enough (yet) to progress; his first touch is terrible and he's in and out of games like a cuckoo is in a clock.

If we had a backup striker that we had any confidence in, we should have dropped Rom on more than one occasion this season, the Leicester game being one of them, in my opinion.

Great player but he's not a player that's going to take us to silverware; best to move him on and take the money.

Geoff Lambert
50 Posted 14/04/2017 at 07:48:02
The guy is lazy, couldn't trap a bag of sand, wants to play in the best competition in the world, Not worth 㿞.00, couldn't score in a brothel. Wait a minute.

No sorry, I have been reading ToffeeWeb to much.

Maybe I should look at what the other professionals are saying about the lad. You know the ones that face him week in and week out. But what do they know????

Sam Hoare
51 Posted 14/04/2017 at 08:04:46
Can't believe that Lukaku is STILL getting criticism! Do people think goal scorers grow on trees?

He's not perfect but guess what? No footballer/person is. He's been excellent this season for the most part and will be very, very hard to replace when he leaves this Summer. He guarantees goals and assists and that is gold dust. And his best years are ahead of him.

Ajay Gopal
52 Posted 14/04/2017 at 08:31:21
Not a penny less than £80 million for Lukaku – they're talking £85 million for Griezman who is both older than Lukaku and never played in the Premier League before.

Lukaku is in his prime and definitely capable of being the next Drogba. I would hate him going to a Premier League competitor, wouldn't mind so much if it were PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, or Juventus. But I don't see any of them coming in for Lukak– it will most likely be either Chelsea or Man Utd.

If spent wisely, the money from this sale could definitely take us up to the next level.

Rob Halligan
53 Posted 14/04/2017 at 11:02:09
Really think he's got a good chance of winning one or both. All players love goalscorers, and at the moment, he's the best.
Damian Wilde
54 Posted 14/04/2017 at 11:29:22
Gerry, £80 million for Rom? Nah, £100 million.
Paul Baker
55 Posted 14/04/2017 at 23:08:22
Ajay @52,

"Not a penny less than £80 million for Lukaku – they are talking £85 million for Griezman who is both older than Lukaku and never played in the Premier League before."

I'm sorry, but what a crappy argument that is. You could as well say then that "Lukaku never played in the Champions League before" (which is as important for your Chelsea or Man City).

Besides, Griezmann plays in a defensive team and still manages to clock up amazing numbers, his first touch and link-up play is brilliant and his positioning / understanding of attacking play right there among the best in the world's game.

Steve Ferns
56 Posted 15/04/2017 at 09:04:37
I find it amusing that you guys who have already sold him on here are so confident that we will get 䀆m or more.

The bidding will start at 㿨m, and the dirty tricks will begin. I expect him to leave for 㿲m, or no more than 㿷m. And then it's likely to be a staggered deal on the never never: 㾶m if he scores a hat-trick in the Champions League Final, etc.

Dave Ganley
57 Posted 17/04/2017 at 13:21:23
Lukaku gets criticism on here for a number of reasons. Firstly the fact that for the last 2 years he has periodically commented about leaving for better pastures grates on most Evertonians. Fair enough you may say but as fans of the club we don't generally like players constantly wanting away.

Secondly, he constantly talks about being ready to step up to Champions League but rarely delivers on the big stage, well not for us anyway. It's all very well scoring for fun against the lesser teams but if you can't do it in big games against the likes of the so called top 6 then what makes you think he can do it against the likes of Madrid or Barca etc?

He is a decent player who has scored a lot of goals but his supporters continually neglect to address his failings in big games. He is rarely a big game player.

When the chips are down teams need to look to their supposed better players to inspire and show what makes them special players. Lukaku for most part just doesn't look interested when things aren't going well. He gesticulates lots and blames others for his inability to show initiative and try and drag defenders away and give them a hard time.

No-one is irreplaceable. If he goes then goals will be spread around more. He will never be a hero to some, myself included due to his Billy Big Bollocks attitude, wanting away all the time and failing to walk the walk after talking himself up constantly. I'm sick and tired of it all. If he wants to go then go and we shall find players who actually want to play for Everton, who are not just using us as a stepping stone.

Paul Tran
58 Posted 17/04/2017 at 14:13:53
Dave, you make some good points. I'd brace yourself for the possibility that most of the players we bring in over the next couple of years will see us as a route to a more established 'top level' club.

It would be great if Lukaku pledged his undivided loyalty to us for five years, but I wouldn't believe him. I'd rather he did his job, which is to score goals. He does it regularly. I look on ToffeeWeb at the army of statisticians bending over backwards to find ways of proving he's rubbish, then I pick up the paper for the last few weeks and see the words 'top scorer'. I see the BBC table showing he scores more against the 'big teams' than Kane, Aguero, Sanchez & Ibhrahimovic.

Lukaku has plenty to learn about the game; he needs to apply himself more, needs to develop more nous on the pitch. I think he needs to sort his head out so he stays on his game regardless of what's going on. So please don't tell me I'm blind to his faults.

In the last god knows how many years, I've seen lots of nice earnest young men play up front for us, working hard, running the channels, telling us it's a privilege to play for Everton, etc. I've seen two proper strikers; Yakubu and Lukaku. Both with big egos, both slagged off for being 'lazy', both score goals for fun.

I know who I'd rather have up front.

Raymond Fox
59 Posted 17/04/2017 at 14:54:10
Hazard and Alli I fancy will win awards... southern bias and all that.

Sorry to say, but I think Lukaku will leave and that will not aid our ambitions for next season. Barkley will stay; I can't see him wanting to go elsewhere.

I'd say he's 80% stay, 20% go.

The summer will tell us whether we are going all-out for a top 4 spot re Mr Moshiri, or are happy still to chug along in 7th.

Dave Ganley
60 Posted 17/04/2017 at 15:13:17
To be honest, Paul, I accept that most footballers these days don't have much loyalty and use clubs as stepping stones but to be so vocal about it just sticks in the throat really as a fan.

I look at this purely as a fan, I guess we have that luxury or curse depending on your viewpoint that we demand loyalty and maximum effort whenever you put on that blue shirt. Not exactly rational but there you go.

I don't think he's rubbish and I don't think I've portrayed him as rubbish. He's obviously a gifted goalscorer but as you say, has a lot to learn. He doesn't have to be a workhorse but in these big games he does have to actually do something other than complain and remain static.

If you look at say Costa and Drogba before him, players pretty similar to Lukaku's playing style, both of those were/are horrible to play against. Defences never got a minutes peace. Even when not scoring they hassled the defence, dragging players out of position, closing down and just generally getting involved.

We may not like them but supporters of the Chavs will say they love them. Bit like Suarez really, horrible player but adored by all four of the clubs hes played for.

Now that can't be said of Lukaku. He is a good player but has a lot of work to do before he can put himself in the bracket on those players. It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't continually big himself up all the time and fail to deliver when it really matters.

You're right in that Lukaku and the yak were probably the best strikers we've had for 20 years but, for all their natural goalscoring exploits, give me Sharpie any day of the week. He was a handful and never gave defenders an easy ride, unlike Lukaku. For the amount of goals he's scored, he should be a legend; the fact that he's not tells its own story.

Paul Tran
61 Posted 17/04/2017 at 15:37:30
Dave, I'm sorry if you think I suggested you called Rom rubbish. You haven't, but plenty on here have. What he does on the pitch is more important to me than what he says off it.

You're spot on about Sharp. I remember early on wondering what the heck we'd bought, but he blossomed into a fabulous, under-rated striker.

If Rom was as good as Sharp, what would he be worth?

Brian Williams
62 Posted 17/04/2017 at 19:38:16
The Red Echo is saying we have put a price of 𧴜m on Lukaku!

In today's world of vastly inflated prices, where defenders are being touted at 㿣m, then 𧴜m seems reasonable for the Premier League's top scorer.

Dermot Byrne
63 Posted 17/04/2017 at 19:56:08
Of course Lukaku has got better and I was a big critic. But that para from Dave #60 is fair about other great strikers "Even when not scoring they hassled the defence, dragging players out of position, closing down and just generally getting involved."

But increasingly I think he cannot do it. The positivity of his strength and size may mean he cannot work like others, harassing defenders all game. I have spotted him huffing and puffing when he tries.

However the other voice in my head says he is too idle to do that and knows it is goals and not team play that makes headlines.

So, to sum up. I have no idea!

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