Selling and Replacing Lukaku isn’t so Simple

Palmer Marinelli 15/03/2017 26comments  |  Jump to last

Given that the press coverage has been all about Big Rom’s contract, with a trickle of stadium speculation, you’d be surprised to know the Toffees actually play at the weekend.

All of the drama over this saga ignores two tenets — one, that there are still 30 points to play for, that is a lot, and the teams above us are distracted with other competitions, in terrible veins of form, or both. Second, that the worry about Romelu leaving is hysterical, because there aren’t that many solutions as to where he goes, and how Everton replaces him.

Without agreeing a new contract with a set release clause, Everton have the ability to only accept an offer suitable for the club. If Everton decide not to sell, a real option, Lukaku won’t destroy the team or refuse to play. Not with a World Cup coming up. If Everton decide to sell, Lukaku’s agent might have hurt his client’s flexibility in negotiating for another client.


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Given Pogba’s lacklustre season, Rom’s grand one, and the 89.3 million fee, it stands to reason that our Belgian should cost at least as much.

So, who can pay that kind of fee (without incurring sanctions for FFP)? It basically leaves you with United, PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Chelsea, Juventus, and City. How many of these clubs need a centre forward?

Well, Madrid don’t with Benzema and Morata; Chelsea don’t with Costa and Batshuayi; Barca doesn’t with Suarez and Alacer; United doesn’t with Zlatan, Rashford, and Martial; Bayern doesn’t with Lewandowski and Muller; City have Gabriel Jesus, Aguero, and Iheanacho; Juve has Higuan, Dybala, and Mandzukic; PSG have the need, and the money to spend, but at this rate, they might not even be in the Champions League next season, if they finish third in France, and get drawn with a tough qualifier.

As for the other clubs, they would have to sell to buy to make room for Lukaku to start. How many of them will take that risk? What will the market be for those players they are selling?

But even then, what is stopping some of these clubs from buying elsewhere to strengthen their squads? Romelu is one option, but so are Timo Werner, Andrea Belotti, Alexandre Lacazette, Moussa Dembele and Andre Silva. For the club looking for depth over a given starter, you could look at next tier, but those types of players aren’t a guaranteed 20 goals, and aren’t going to be adequate replacements for Lukaku. Would anyone trade Rom for Vincent Janssen, Divock Origi, Andre Grey, Josh King, or Lukasz Teodorczyk? I didn’t think so.

So if we are to sell him, we would have to replace him with one of forwards above. This switch around will either drive prices up, or cause them to bottom out when some of the clubs decide they are willing to sit pat with their option.

Either way, it means Rom won’t be going anywhere unless there is a replacement to be made. None of that is going to stop Steve Walsh and Everton from investing at the forward position. But given the demand for forwards right now, a lot is going to have to happen for Lukaku leave.

In the meantime, Toffees need to worry about getting wins, especially at Anfield.

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Reader Comments (26)

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Danny Broderick
1 Posted 16/03/2017 at 02:13:19
I think there are far more forwards out there than the ones you mention Palmer. Monaco have got a cracking young striker up front for instance, who has been likened to Thierry Henry. There must be tons of strikers out there who are out of favour - like Gabbiadini who went to Southampton - who could come in and do a job. Danny Welbeck or Perez at Arsenal? Dare I mention Wayne Rooney? I think Ineacho of Man City has some potential...

With the exception of Griezmann, Lukaku will probably sell for more than any other European forward this summer, if he goes. That would give us plenty of money to buy some top players in return. I imagine we could bring in a couple of decent players with any potential money from Lukaku and Niasse. Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman should be aware of all top strikers across world football. Plus we will have our tv money. We should have a bit of a war chest if this all happens in the summer!

Paul Mackie
2 Posted 16/03/2017 at 09:25:18
Lukaku may well want Champions League, but any of the other strikers you mention at Champions League clubs may well decide to cash in and go to China for a bumper payday. All it would take is for one of them to do that (Costa?) and the whole merry-go-round would swing into action.
Jim Wilson
3 Posted 16/03/2017 at 17:21:40
You don't have to replace Lukaku. You play the modern game of no target man but strikers who press from the front, who are good on the ball who create chances for each other. Teamwork from the 10 outfield players rather than 9 playing for the one target man.
Jim Hardin
4 Posted 16/03/2017 at 20:21:26
It isn't about replacing Rom's goals with money from his sale. To challenge for the top spot (not top four) it is about adding to his goals.

Bring in players who match his quality even if it means players like Ross have to sit the bench or move on. Anything else will result in Everton continuing to strive to remain a perennial contender for "best of the rest" honors.

Ian Riley
5 Posted 16/03/2017 at 21:57:26
He won't be sold unless we get what we want. Lukaku knows it and the agent knows it. Is Lukaku ready for a top Champions League club? No, goes missing against the top sides. He is two years way from that.

Everton should of put a release fee of £60 million after two years into a five year contract. He would have been here five years then. This would have been fair on him.

If we are in the Champions League by then we have fulfilled his ambition. If not, he can go for a reasonable amount at the age of 25.

Mark Andrews
6 Posted 17/03/2017 at 09:14:25
The reasoning for why he won't move to anyone of those top clubs makes absolutely no sense at all. Clubs change top personnel regularly. If they see a player who is better than what they currently have, they go for him. Is Lukaku as good as good (or potentially as good) as many of the strikers listed? Yes.

There's a lot of hysteria surrounding this and many of us are sounding desperate, we're sounding like the straw clutching spurs fans, prior to Bale moving to Madrid.

Is Lukaku ambitious? Yes. If we can't match his ambition with investment and success, he'll go elsewhere. He has no loyalty ties with the club and lets face it, some of the fans have been openly hostile to him. We have to get the best out of him whilst he's here. We have to plan for his departure and also plan to get the best price for him. Either that or give him the success via investment and improvement.

Rob Dolby
7 Posted 17/03/2017 at 10:44:57
It's not the first time that we have potentially lost a star player and it wont be the last. The club moves on; without his goals last year we would have been in serious trouble but under Koeman I get more of an assured feeling that the club have ambition and a sense of optimism that we haven't had for years.

We have Valencia and Calvert-Lewin as current replacements and I am sure that we will buy someone in the summer. We have had 3 years out of him which is about the average for a Premier League foreign player anything more is a bonus.

It's a team game as Leicester proved last year, it's not about one or two superstars. Jim @3 above hit the nail on the head, modern football is like hunting in packs – not playing for the one guy up top.

Sam Hoare
8 Posted 17/03/2017 at 10:59:04
An interesting article I read said that actually we would be far better off without Lukaku than many of the top teams without their top strikers – higher than Spurs without Kane, Arsenal without Sanchez etc.

I'd be sad to see him go but confident that, so long as Walsh and Koeman do their jobs well, we could come out stronger the other side in the way Spurs have post Gareth Bale.

Rob Tedford
9 Posted 17/03/2017 at 15:56:17
The problem is if or when we do sell Lukaku the press will have a field day saying we lack ambition; it will be really hard to attract the top players if Lukaku stays never mind if he leaves,

Lukaku wants to see the club show their ambition but who could we bring in that would demonstrate that?

Most of us would say we definitely need a centre back but so do most of the clubs above us; it will be the same with the other positions that need strengthening.

We're going to have to splash the money early on and hopefully get the jump on other teams but it's going to be hard... I hope we can pull it off.

Just when I was starting to believe.

John Pierce
11 Posted 17/03/2017 at 18:48:29
Somewhere I saw a percentage of Roms goals against the teams totals both this season 40%, and for his career at Everton 30%

What was interesting was no better this season excepted than Cottee, Lineker or Beardsley.

So our reliance is not the weakness it may appear to be should he move on.

Frank Crewe
12 Posted 17/03/2017 at 19:01:31
Why do we have to replace him by buying another striker? Because as usual we don't have a single decent striker coming through from our much vaunted academy.

Lukaku has been our main striker for the last four years yet, in all that time, not one youth player has come close to being an adequate replacement. So that's more millions we'll have to spend on replacing him.

I wouldn't mind but if his replacement turns out to be any good in a few years from now we'll be looking for a replacement for him because no doubt he'll want to play in the Champions League, and we still won't have a replacement from our own youth teams.

Andy Crooks
13 Posted 17/03/2017 at 20:40:11
Jim Wilson, very good point. I admire Lukaku, I want him to stay but I believe we are limited in our options when he plays.

We are the Lukaku Show right now. Good as the show is, there is always another, maybe better.

James Flynn
14 Posted 17/03/2017 at 23:31:32
"Selling and Replacing Lukaku isn’t so Simple"

The other side of that is that the simple thing is to keep him. A player who STILL hasn't asked to leave.

He and Ross are the players we build around, not get rid of.

Michael Penley
15 Posted 18/03/2017 at 06:10:53
Why exactly do we need a "striker"? Did our U23 team not win the Premier League 2 without one? Isn't Liverpool near the top of the league without one?

Midfielders score goals. Wingers score goals. Defenders score goals. The way I see it, if he leaves then it's a good opportunity to change the way we play so as not rely on him for goals – which is a style which has hitherto only got us no higher than 7th place.

Bob Parrington
16 Posted 18/03/2017 at 13:15:48
Danny Broderick makes a good case. However, if we sell Lukaku, and we can't find an equivalent striker then perhaps we nee to look for a striking partnership (pairing).

In days gone by it always amused me to see strikers bought and fail. The owner/managers couldn't see the strike partnerships and so failed to buy the 2 players that made up the strike force. Okay, this is old shit but I think it isn't much different now.

Over to you Derek Thomas as you might be somewhat more analytical than me on this.

Paul Burns
17 Posted 18/03/2017 at 18:04:05
The world is full of current and emerging forwards, Liverpool never had any trouble replacing them.

About time we refreshed our scouting team and decision making (Walsh alone can't cover the world) and we should be ready for any contingency and have players lined up, not make panic reactions.

We are short on forwards already, we should have at least 3 vying for the positions, not letting Lukaku strut around thinking he's indispensable.

We need some proper hitmen negotiators when dealing with transfers instead of fannying about hoping for the best like gullible fools.

Mike Dixon
18 Posted 18/03/2017 at 18:46:32
Based on today's performance no-one in the Champions League will buy him.
Jim Bennings
19 Posted 19/03/2017 at 07:53:36
I've been saying the exact same thing for the last few months.

What Lukaku offers for me is irreplaceable.

Pace, power, finishing with either foot is devastating (frustrates me the amount of so-called top players these days who are one footed).
But Lukaku is clinical with both feet.

I also believe his first touch and hold up play has improved immensely this season.

I see no replacement available that will join Everton not being in the Champions League.

We are not going to get Harry Kane or Sergio Aguero here and not going to get Robert Lewandowski or Suarez.

Dembele at Celtic, I'm sorry but he's not to Lukaku's standard, I'd fancy myself of scoring double figures in the Scottish League.

Its sad we have to accept Lukaku will leave, When you consider how badly Everton have struggled for prolific strikers over the years, we revered Big Dunc but in reality he was never really a top top striker that was capable of scoring 15 plus a season, Rooney wasn't here long enough, and the rest like Johnson, Beattie, Bent, nothing more than honest workers really.

There's only been Saha and Yakubu who had looked capable of being explosive and neither of those could do it consistently nor lead the line as well as Lukaku.

Its worth enjoying the final embers of a truly outstanding goalscorer again at Everton Football Club.

It could be a long time before we see one of that ilk again.

Jimmy Salt
20 Posted 19/03/2017 at 18:51:23
In the meantime, Toffees need to worry about getting wins, especially at Anfield.

We seem to have been getting plenty of wins lately? Fishy!

Steve Bingham
22 Posted 19/03/2017 at 19:21:51
Sorry but all this is far too many ifs, whats, perhapses, maybes, possiblies, could its, should its, might its.... Let's just support our team and all its players for the remainder of this much improved season and see if their endeavours can give us some form of European football next term so that we can continue to build, strengthen, improve and challenge on the big boys table next season.

Koeman and his team have done nothing wrong yet but to be honest have seemingly made every effort to improve us as much as possible. I only hope that, when the summer window opens, we will have time to analyse some quality coming in before anyone leaves.
David Ellis
23 Posted 20/03/2017 at 02:20:23
Actually selling Lukaku would be very simple!! Replacing him... yes that's the harder part.

But with European football, a pile of cash, a new stadium, youth players flooding into the first team squad, quality already added this season in Schneiderlin, Bolasie and Gana, and Barkley back on track and back in the England squad... we are in a much better position than last summer to attract the players we need.

I am pretty sure Sunderland will go down and Kone will trigger a release clause to join us early in the summer transfer window. OK - not a world beater but one piece of the jigsaw and will help us to build momentum

Anthony Dwyer
24 Posted 20/03/2017 at 09:02:57
Rom has two years remaining on his deal, I'd simply deny him a move. Ross is different, if he doesn't sign we have to reluctantly sell.
Alexander Murphy
25 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:44:39
I remember being utterly devastated when we sold Alan Ball. Nothing has altered. It was wrong. I still want him back.

I remember being outraged when we part exchanged Howard Kendall for Bob Latchford. Latch healed the pain. Howard healed the pain.

I miss Steven Naismith, he embodies everything that is decent in this world. He wouldn't get a run-out once a season with us now. Having said that, I'd pop him on the bench for our next fixture. Cos he'd score. He just would.

Tom Davies, plus the mark two Ross Barkley, plus the new loud and assertive Joel Robles. Youngsters adding massive amounts of experience, understanding and craft.

Idrissa Gana Gueye. The EPL's most wise buy. We must never ever sell this midfield wizard. He is THREE men in a single jersey. He puts the ROYAL into our Blue. Alan Ball would love him.

Dermot Byrne
26 Posted 20/03/2017 at 19:58:08
Anthony (#24) – stay on TW and keep a long long way from fooball management (even if I do have sympathy for your view).
Paul Cullinane
27 Posted 20/03/2017 at 20:53:59
I'm in the keep Rom camp. But if he genuinely made those remarks (and they have not been misconstrued, to make headlines), then I believe he should be allowed to go. If he doesn't feel the pride and honour of pulling on the Royal Blue shirt, then he should just go!!!

He should also remember it was EFC that gave him a permanent deal when he was struggling. Think on, Rom.

Brian Murray
28 Posted 25/03/2017 at 17:53:09
When a deal for two class strikers is nailed on, let him go abroad. Not until then, even if we lose on the transfer fee.

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