Everton: Lukaku future; key summer signing excited about Koeman
Despite a less than satisfactory transfer window at Everton, the fact that Romelu Lukaku is still a Toffees player; overcoming intense speculation linking him to Chelsea in the process, is cause for celebration for those on the blue side of Merseyside.
The Belgian international committed his future to the club towards the end of the window, and there was even talk of him extending his current contract. However, the Liverpool Echo report that whilst away on international duty with his country, Lukaku was quizzed on his whether he would be putting pen to paper any time soon, and the 23-year-old was somewhat coy in his response:
“You’ll have to ask Mino (Raiola, his agent).
“I tell Mino how I think about it, and eventually we have to make a decision that is best for me. For me football is not about the money.
“I want to win prizes. But when I get into a situation where I can leave but my team will not let me, I’m not one to go absent, get fined and cultivate a negative reputation.
“I try to remain calm and treat my club with respect. Hopefully they can treat me also with respect and I can leave through the main gate.
“I will not quarrel with Everton”
The player’s comments appear to suggest that him remaining at Everton this season was more down to the club’s strong stance against him leaving than his own desire to remain at Goodison Park. A player of Lukaku’s quality is deserving of Champions League football and his teammates let him down on that front last season. Despite, the club finishing 11th under Roberto Martinez, Lukaku’s return of 18 goals was; deservedly so, enough to attract interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer and if new boss Ronald Koeman is to have any hope of keeping his star forward beyond the end of this season then a Europa League finish will be the minimum requirement.
Meanwhile, one of the club’s new signings, Ashley Williams, has spoken of his excitement at the opportunity to work alongside Koeman.
The 32-year-old signed from Swansea City last month for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £12 million, and says that one of the main factors in the move was the prospect of learning from “one of the best centre-halves that has ever played“.
The Everton boss certainly had a distinguished playing career to say the least, lifting the European Cup with both PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, a European Championship for the Netherlands, as well as winning eight league titles during a career spent in Holland and Spain. His record means that he immediately commands respect within the game, and Williams claims that he is itching to learn all he can from the Dutchman:
“I am enjoying playing underneath him. As I said when I moved here he is one of the best centre-halves who ever played.
“I am going to be a sponge to learn off him and try and take in as much as I can of his knowledge.”
Signed as a replacement or John Stones, who joined Manchester City this summer, the Welsh international has been tasked with shoring up a porous defence which was the joint sixth worst in the Premier League last term. Williams has excelled for Swansea since their promotion to the Premier League in 2010/11 and a move to a club such as Everton is the least he deserves.
Euro 2016 showed that he is capable of performing under a more intense spotlight than that which he was used to at the Liberty Stadium, and if he is able to replicate such form this season then he will certainly endear himself to the Everton faithful.
Featured image: all rights reserved by ludo coenen
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