Goal picks the Carlsberg EPL player after a pulsating weekend of football action. This week it is Everton's powerful forward, and Chelsea loanee, the irrepressible Romelu Lukaku
|Passes (% accurate)||31/45 (69%)|
|Shots (on target)||5 (3)|
|Headers (won)||6 (2)|
|Dribbles (successful)||7 (4)|
On Monday Jose Mourinho walked out of his pre-match press conference after he was tired of questions about Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. It would be no surprise to see his mood sour even further in the next week when he is asked inevitable questions about another young Belgian. Perhaps he will be asked specifically: “Jose, what were you playing at when you allowed Lukaku to go out on loan to Everton?”
What seemed like a bizarre decision on the last day of the transfer window has already been proved foolish with the accomplished displays that Lukaku has made for his second English Premier League loan spell in two seasons. Last year he broke out at West Bromich Albion, with 17 goals that spoke of his raw pace and power. This season he was expected to have a greater role in a Chelsea squad in which Demba Ba and Fernando Torres often failed to convince, however he found himself cast out to Goodison Park following the signing of Samuel Eto’o.
On Tuesday morning he was the inspiration behind Everton’s first-half demolition of a poor Newcastle side that further enhanced his value. His first of two goals demonstrated the hunger that Lukaku possesses to get on the scoresheet. Challenging for the initial ball upfield with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Lukaku then burst forward with drive and purpose to support teammate and fellow countryman Kevin Mirallas, and so often is the case, found himself in the right place to sweep home.
During the match he also created three chances with his constant work-rate and lateral movement. As manager Roberto Martinez commented after: “He is a clever player, he opens up space for others.” Example of this came in the 25thminute as he played a precise through-ball which Ross Barkley smashed home. His instant rapport with England prospect Barkley is immediately more exciting, and arguably carries more potential than the Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic forward combo of last year.
Such was Lukaku’s threat that it was no surprise that he added a second goal before the half time interval. Of course, he was helped by the fact that Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini looked as if he had been drinking in the pubs of Merseyside all Monday afternoon, as he completely failed to head a long Tim Howard ball forward, but this should not take away from Lukaku’s opportunism. Always full of running, Lukaku did what all good strikers do, he forced the defender into a mistake.
After the win, Everton now sit in fourth in the league and are the only team in the divison to remain unbeaten. Now they are in possession (for this season at least) of a striker who can do it all. This game further demonstrated that he can play as a lone striker who can bring others into play and create chances. He can hold the ball, he can finish, he can dribble and he works hard. With Chelsea unable to recall him, look for this to be a source of frustration for all Chelsea fans this season.
And as for Everton, Roberto Martinez seems to have improved their style of play, perhaps ever playing a new form of toffee-taka, and it seems few tears have been shed by the loss of David Moyes. If the likes of Lukaku, assisted by the able Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Barkley and Mirallas, can continue their early season form, then who knows the heights that the Toffees can reach.