With the astronomical and ever-increasing fee for Romelu Lukaku being touted in the press and Ronald Koeman’s stated desire to keep him at the club, I began to think about how important he is to the team.
I must confess, I began my musings thinking that he was absolutely vital to the continued progress towards forcing the media to acknowledging that there is a “Big Seven”... but, the more I thought about it, the more I began to think this might not be the case.
Now I am not for a minute saying he is not a very, very good player and my thoughts are not based on any statistical analysis, but as I went through the more recent games, it did occur to me that on many occasions his goal-scoring prowess is most prevalent when the game is already won or at least we are already winning and time is running out (eg, vs Burnley he got the 3rd goal after 74 mins when we were 2-1 up; vs Hull City the 3rd and 4th in injury time when already 2-0 up; and vs West Brom the third after 82 mins when already 2-0 up – all of these in the last 6 weeks).
I am perfectly happy to be told I am smoking the wrong stuff to be even speculating about Rom’s value to us (I do not get to many games these days and I am well aware of the limits of watching on TV), or for someone with the relevant stats to point out how his points-per-goal ratio is better than anyone else’s, or that the last few weeks have been a statistical blip, or even for someone to say, "For god's sake we have a player who is likely to win the Golden Boot for the first time in a generation so just shut up and enjoy it!" – but what would we have given for a striker to sniff out one goal in a poor game against West Ham instead of two in the dying embers of the Hull game?
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