Lukaku remains laser focused amid media noise

, 5 April, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Speculation continues to swirl around where he will be playing next season and he is still finding himself answering questions about his supposed falling out with Jose Mourinho but Romelu Lukaku's sights remain on his personal development and Everton.

While red-top column inches have been filled this week with talk of Chelsea replacing their entire strike force in the summer and the English press ran away with comments made by his agent, Christophe Henrotay, regarding a conversation with Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, about Lukaku's future, much of the talk surrounding the 20-year-old lately has centred around matters other than what is arguably the biggest game of his young career this Sunday against Arsenal.

The Belgian international, on whose shoulders more expectation from his country is likely to fall this summer in the wake of Christian Benteke's season-ending Achilles injury, exudes his typical assuredness and composure when dealing with the rabid media's demand for answers.

He once again shrugs off assertions that he left Stamford Bridge last summer on bad terms with Mourinho, reiterating that it was purely a footballing decision on his part and one that the Portuguese was happy to accept.

"People said there were arguments, he tells David Maddock in The Mirror. There were arguments in the press and stuff, but I don't know where it came from. I just spoke to him and said hopefully what I wanted as a player and he was okay with it.

Then I had the opportunity to go [to Everton]. [Chelsea] is a big club, there is real competition, and they said there was a feeling I had to stay patient again.

And the feeling that I had from my first year came up again, and I knew I had to go. Because how you could be on the bench after the year I had last year? Because I still want to progress. I don't want to be a one-season show."

Look, top four is achievable. It is realistic — we have a good team, we have good young players, but great experienced players, a great mix. If we want to do it, we have to do it now.
Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku's focus remains on getting better and playing as many games as he can at England's top level and central to all of that is helping Everton finish 4th this season.

Indeed, if his comments are any reflection of his desire to achieve that at Goodison, then Roberto Martinez will have a potent weapon spearheading his attack over the last seven matches.

I knew on the day I arrived at Everton I would be playing at the right level, but I didn't know it would be this special," he continues. "I thought maybe 5th, 6th. But when you are so close to 4th, why stop?

Now is the time to man up and put the work in and try to embrace the moment. You have to embrace those moments that define you, and not be scared. I try to embrace those moments, that is why in the last weeks I am playing in a good way, I know that I can dominate players.

We just have to beat Arsenal at the weekend, and then everything is in our hands. It is Arsenal, they are a big club with a big manager but we don't have to be scared — we have to dictate the play and make sure we enjoy our moment on the pitch, and if we do that we have a great chance.

Look, top four is achievable. It is realistic — we have a good team, we have good young players, but great experienced players, a great mix. If we want to do it, we have to do it now.

Should he and his Everton teammates achieve it, the feeling is that it will hugely strengthen the club's hand when it comes to potentially keeping him at Goodison on a permanent basis.

Martinez insisted yesterday, though, that is not as straight-forward as that; that Lukaku's desire to stay with the Blues won't necessarily hinge on Champions League qualification and that the former Anderlecht man is keen to be part of a team that will be regularly challenging to qualify for Europe's elite club tournament.

"It is not about getting to the Champions League or not, it is more about the focus of the club and we want to carry on growing," Martinez is quoted by The Independent.

"A lot has been said about that (Champions League determining Lukaku's future) but I don't think it is that straightforward.

"We want to be a football club who get into the Champions League consistently and that is important for a young footballer who wants to fulfil his potential.

"I truly believe Romelu has so far found that experience very much what he needed from a personal point of view. There is going to be a lot of speculation as Romelu has been performing extremely well.

"He is fulfilling his potential, which I believe is huge, and all we want is for him to concentrate on the next seven games.

"At the moment it has no effect on us at all."

Quotes sourced from The Mirror

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