Romelu Lukaku looked all set to leave Goodison Park this summer. The Belgian striker had made all the comments towards the end of the Premier League season about seeing his future away from Merseyside.
Many Everton fans were already resigned to the fact they were going to lose their 20 goals a year striker that had eluded them for so long, but now Lukaku may have had a change of heart.
According to the Daily Mirror, Lukaku is set to be offered a new long-term contract with a bump in his wages, north of £120,000 pounds a week.
Both Lukaku’s father, Roger Lukaku, and his agent Mino Raiola had said they also saw a move in Romelu’s future. Chelsea seemed the obvious destination but there also seemed to be some hesitation on the part of the former Premier League champions.
Everton may be coming off a rather poor season, but the mood surrounding them is one of optimism. Ronald Koeman has taken over as manager and has identified some big name summer transfer targets, most notably Juan Mata.
Even a few weeks ago, Raiola admitted that something had changed at Goodison Park in terms of the ambition and targets.
Lukaku is vital
Even during a poor Premier League campaign, Lukaku managed to score 18 times. That’s the most for an Everton striker since Tony Cottee. In all competitions, the Belgian striker found the net 25 times, including two against Chelsea in the FA Cup that sent the Blues to Wembley.
He is key to Everton’s attack.
Lukaku draws criticism for his lack of ball control and work off the ball. Regardless of this, he still manages to find the back of the net regularly. Everton fans have been crying out for a striker like Lukaku for years, to let him go now would be a rather poor decision.
However, the Belgian will have to rebuild some bridges with certain parts of the fanbase. His comments about moving on to a new club still linger in the thoughts of many Everton fans.
Lukaku needs a strike partner
The Everton forward has shown that he can operate by himself but is much better with a strike partner. He and Arouna Kone linked up well last season but the Ivorian may find himself on the chopping block at Goodison Park.
New boss Ronald Koeman does like to vary his teams set up and does like to operate with two strikers. He is already monitoring the situation with Southampton striker Graziano Pelle and could make a move for the Italian.
It has also been rumoured that he is interested in another Southampton striker, Shane Long and also former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.