Romelu Lukaku has spoken of how he and Ronald Koeman came quickly to an understanding over the summer as the new manager spoke to him about his future with Everton.
Koeman was appointed as successor to Roberto Martinez, the man who signed Lukaku from Chelsea on a permanent deal in 2014, at a time when Lukaku was being linked with a big-money move to the likes of Chelsea and Juventus.
Having scored 25 times in all competitions for a struggling Blues side under Martinez, the Belgian striker felt he was ready to take the next step in his career by joining a club that could offer him Champions League football this year.
While that move never materialised, perhaps in part because of his chequered form in the European Championships and the enormous price tag Everton put around his neck as a clear sign that they didn't want to sell him, Lukaku hints that he might have stayed anyway after speaking with Koeman during Euro2016.
"When he called me during the European Championship I told him how I felt," Lukaku said in The Guardian.
"I was surprised how honest he was with me. He was honest in the way that he wanted to work and how he wanted the team to play. He saw me as an important figure and a big character.
"I told him I am not a guy that is going to cause any problems. I am a guy who has to be at 100 per cent and that is what I am going to do. He knew it straight away."
“When I came back in I was working more than ever before, to get fit and to do my best for the team. The first few games didn't go so well but I was getting physically better. When I went with Belgium, I told them when I got back I would be at 100%. Since then I haven't looked back. He is really helping me a lot with a lot of clinical advice.
“He was really clear in what he wanted to improve. Also the consistency. He has told me off only one time this season. It was in training and about the type of movements he wanted me to make. He was clear in his idea — there is a real clarity about what he wants on the pitch. That helps me. I have never started a season so well.”
Having committed his future verbally to Goodison Park for another season, Lukaku has underlined his importance to Everton by scoring seven of the team's 15 Premier League goals so far as the Blues have made a solid start to life under Koeman.
Whether he elects to his extend his contract — he will have two years remaining at that point — next summer could rest on how successful Everton are this term and whether Koeman is able to steer the club back into Europe or its first trophy since 1995.
Reader Comments (25)
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1 Posted 01/11/2016 at 13:52:45
Why? A reflection on his predecessor? Or someone else's lack of honesty in the past when discussing his career?
It makes you wonder what he has been told previously.
2 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:08:26
3 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:14:46
Lukaku seems to have stepped up again this season. He's holding the ball up a bit better and his touch looks a little sharper (still way to go mind). If he carries on this form it won't be long till we get offered the kind of bucks that would probably be hard to turn down by clubs that he'd definitely rather play for.
4 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:16:23
5 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:22:16
This on other items, as well - If yesterday's first-half performance was one of a high intensity by players in blue, then please get us different, more competitive players in the January window!!!
We lack totally a desire to keep the ball, that was completely remedied in the second-half display – but why does this one-half display consistently get repeated, week-in & week-out? Makes MotD horrendous to watch, other teams being completely competitive, even when losing!!
We deserve MORE – especially when at home, & consistently blaming a referee, missing the main point, even if he was pathetic – just play to the whistle, regardless!
Surely any honeymoon period is well over – many players in blue are just completely inadequate. Other than actually scoring, what does this centre forward actually contribute to our team effort? Poor control, effort, attitude zero & body language pathetic – always offside... strolling around???
Here for a season, what a fantastic decision made!!!
6 Posted 01/11/2016 at 14:55:18
The Everton tactics also prevent the scoring of more goals, because Barry and Gueye are further back in midfield away from Barkley who is further foreward, so less midfield players in the business area and last third, mean less potential goal scorers.
Even worse, unless Coleman gets foreward and with Baines injured there are less crosses coming into the box. As proved by Lukaku who has to go wide to be his own provider from the wings.
7 Posted 01/11/2016 at 15:22:27
The worry is he agreed to only stay 1 more year, I guess they discussed what options he would have after this season, especially if we don't qualify for Europe at all.
Let's hope that we do qualify for Europe and Lukaku and his agent realize we can be challenging for a top 4 place although that is a big ask. But, if we don't qualify and we sell Lukaku, it would be very difficult to get another striker who could get even near his goals return.
8 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:16:13
Still time for Koeman and Walsh to earn their stripes.
9 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:16:46
10 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:31:14
11 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:35:09
However, the article made me think that Everton needed to bridge the gap for the next couple of windows, keeping Rom and selling Stones clearly was the plan. You can always find a decent defender, forwards not so much.
Koeman has been clever, not asking for anything more than a season from Rom, this you would think will give him enough time to find the right replacements should he leave, if he doesn't then all the better.
Rom had no options in summer otherwise he'd have left. I have no beef with him, he's consistently held up his side of the bargain with his goals alone.
But I think Everton held all the cards here, and Rom's kind of suggesting he did us all a favour and stayed 'cos of the honest talking from Koeman...
A lot of talk about him and Bolaise, him and Ross, I happen to think that playing him left of Rom will work, suggested this during his poor form he plays as a winger, more space, job simplified and less exposure to mistakes.
I think coming in from the left helps with his shooting and if Rom gets this then Barkley plays most balls through onto Rom's left foot and Bolaise bombs the crosses from the right
3-4-3 Williams, Jagielka, Holgate, Baines, Barry, Gana, Coleman, Barkley, Lukaku, Bolaise
13 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:36:46
14 Posted 01/11/2016 at 18:38:09
15 Posted 01/11/2016 at 19:49:35
Great to know you stayed because you wanted to... I was worried you only stayed because nobody offered you an alternative.
16 Posted 01/11/2016 at 21:41:11
For the haters, cover your eyes and go "Lalalalala.....
17 Posted 01/11/2016 at 22:27:10
18 Posted 01/11/2016 at 22:27:34
19 Posted 01/11/2016 at 23:12:04
Start by telling Lukaku to stop talking to the press, and start to focus on his job, and getting better and better.
Bony would be a decent second choice, or we should get Alvaro Negredo.
20 Posted 01/11/2016 at 23:46:24
Also he has got most of those goals playing for WBA and us. Not for the so-called big clubs. He usually plays up front on his own too. He is fast becoming a leader and every team needs as many of those as it can get.
He has helped Bolasie to settle in very quickly and challenged him to score 10 goals so he's motivating those around him. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea but his goals are vital to us and he's an integral part of what Koeman's trying to put together.
21 Posted 02/11/2016 at 00:37:46
22 Posted 02/11/2016 at 01:08:17
With the players we have, I feel we are still playing (in-the-main) a 4-2-3-1.
This formation played correctly, always ensures you have midfield cover to allow a full back (not both ala Roberto) to push on and that the 4 attacking players (the 3-1) don't have to worry too much about getting back because theoretically (again if played correctly), you always have 5 sitting.
Germany invented it, almost won the 2010 World Cup with it and then did in 2014. With the right players, almost the perfect formation, in my opinion.
Lukaku didn't go wide to provide for himself on Sunday; he showed good intelligence and hold up play to wait to provide for Barkley.
23 Posted 02/11/2016 at 03:26:36
Our players still getting used to this formation though. Once they are more familiar, results will start to show more consistently.
24 Posted 02/11/2016 at 07:16:28
25 Posted 02/11/2016 at 16:21:17
26 Posted 02/11/2016 at 18:33:13