It is very unusual to see a club manager is suggesting his talismanic striker to leave the club to meet his full potential. Yes, this bizarre scenario actually occurred when the Everton manager Ronald Koeman was asked about Romelu Lukaku and his future at the Merseyside club.
In an interview with the Belgian newspaper HLN, the Dutch boss said that Romelu Lukaku should seek for a bigger club and play for a European giant to fulfil his actual potential. The former Barcelona legend stated, “If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career I know he has left something (behind). His potential is greater and higher than Everton as a final destination.”
The 23-year old striker first joined Everton on a loan deal from Chelsea in 2013, and after some superb performances, the Belgian finally made a permanent move to the Premier League giants in 2014 for a club-record transfer fee of 28 million-pound ($34.8 million). Since then, Lukaku has scored 35 goals for the Toffees. Before the start of this current season, it has been reported numerous times that the Belgium international is unhappy at the Goodison Park and wants a move away from this Liverpool club. But Everton fought hard to keep their main goalscorer at the club, and the move is paying off currently as Lukaku has already netted 7 goals in the EPL including a brilliant hat-trick at the Stadium of Light.
But when Koeman was asked about Lukaku’s future at Everton, he said, “I gave him confidence, and he has himself recognised that it was good for his development to play another year at Everton. What after this season comes, no-one knows.” And then he made that astonishing comment which made the football fraternity somewhat speechless, “If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career I know he has left something behind.”
While talking about the ex- Anderlecht striker’s talent and ideal career path, the former Southampton boss likened Lukaku to former Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert who had shaped his career only after joining Barcelona. “Kluivert was also a striker who was quite young (when he was) in the picture and had a fantastic career. Eventually, Kluivert played for Barcelona, which could happen with Lukaku.”
Later Koeman added, “I think Lukaku is quite complete. He can hold a ball and be a target man and, because he is tall and physically strong, you can play directly with the long ball. Lukaku is potentially a great striker, one who is only 23 years old.”
Lukaku is currently busy to serve his country in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 and has already scored 17 goals in 52 international matches at the age of just 23.