Former Everton boss Roberto Martinez has been raving about his Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku’s spell in England both at Goodison Park and with Manchester United.
The Spaniard got the best out of Lukaku during their spell together at Everton. Now Lukaku leads the line for the national team under Martinez’s guidance.
But despite his incredible scoring record in England, including 87 goals in 166 games for the Toffees, Martinez feels Lukaku is under-appreciated in England.
As he told The Times, he feels criticism levelled at the player was simply unfair regarding his stint in the Premier League.
“He had a phenomenal couple of seasons at Everton, but the moment he left Everton there was almost that feeling that everyone was going to highlight when Rom didn’t score, then it would be a negative about his performance.
“That’s been surprising for me because Rom has outstanding qualities. He’s a goalscorer, he cannot be measured about the other things he doesn’t do, like Diego Maradona ‘couldn’t tackle’, ‘couldn’t be good in defensive set plays’ or ‘couldn’t use his right foot’. Nobody would speak how many times Maradona used his right foot. Rom is a goalscorer. That’s his job, and what he does best.”
Everton fans surely don’t under-appreciate the impact Lukaku had during his time at the club.
Lukaku was a beast in attack for the club and under Martinez, he scored 61 goals for the Toffees across three seasons, a fairly potent threat.
Indeed, Lukaku is Everton’s joint record European goalscorer and his 68 goals is also more than any other player has scored for the club in the Premier League.
Since his move to Old Trafford, it could even be argued that Everton have never truly replaced the frontman who once struck fear into the hearts of Premier League defenders.
Now thriving again in Italy with Inter Milan, Everton fans are surely not part of the group of English fans who do not recognise the quality Lukaku brought to the Premier League.