It is hard to believe that Everton forward Romelu Lukaku is only 22. Having notched 25 times this season for the Toffees, the Belgium international has now scored more times in a top flight European league than any other player under 23.
That leaves Lukaku with more goals than Inter’s Mauro Icardi, Valencia’s Paco Alcacer and indeed Tottenham’s very own Harry Kane.
What is perhaps more impressive is that by the age of 23, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Luis Suarez and Thierry Henry hadn’t scored as many times as the former West Brom striker – who currently has 119 career goals to his name.
Why Chelsea ever let the young prodigy they signed for £10m from Belgian side Anderlecht go is a mystery. Lukaku made just 10 appearances for the Blues before moving onto Everton for £28m, following his impressive season-long loan at the club.
The 6ft. 3″ powerhouse has been the standout performer for Everton this season in what has been an otherwise poor campaign on Merseyside.
His performances have attracted attention from a host of European clubs – including Manchester United – and a summer move away from Goodison looks on the cards.
Here are FIVE reasons why the prolific Belgian should look for pastures new this transfer window…
17 goals in 35 appearances whilst on loan at West Brom; 15 in 31 during his first season as a loan player at Everton; and 28 in 70 since his permanent move to Goodison. Lukaku can score goals.
Just think of the possibilities if the Belgian youngster had world-class service behind him to match his amazing finishing.
While Everton do have a young squad and Roberto Martinez is building for the future, Lukaku is head and shoulders above the rest.
Ross Barkley, John Stones and Seamus Coleman are certainly talented, but the Belgian is already beyond them and really needs to be playing with players of the same ability if he wants to get even better.
It may be great being Everton’s club talisman at the moment. Being adored by the fans and scoring goals now, however, shouldn’t detract from the club’s bleak outlook.
Since Martinez took the helm at Goodison Park following the departure of David Moyes, the Toffees have struggled to reach the same heights, and now look no more than a midtable side.
Belgium – despite already being ranked second in the world – have a bright future ahead of them.
Marc Wilmots’ side is full to the brim of young, exciting talent, all itching to make their mark. With Euro 2016 around the corner followed by the 2018 World Cup, Lukaku will want to make sure he is Belgium’s main man for both tournaments, and moving to a bigger club would certainly help his cause.
Jose Mourinho didn’t believe the then 19 year had the potential to lead his Chelsea strike force at the time, and hence Lukaku left after making only 10 appearances.
Whilst he is certainly proving he has the ability to score goals, doing so for one of Europe’s major forces would certainly prove the controversial Portuguese manager wrong and further beg the question as to why his ability was ever doubted.