If Lukaku Goes, How Will Everton Replace Him?By Unclassified • May 22nd, 2017 • Category: News |
How Should Everton Replace Lukaku This Summer?
In many ways, Everton represent one of the most interesting sides in the English top flight. Arguably bigger than Tottenham, they are a huge club with a rich and successful history, although in recent seasons have found it difficult to compete financially with teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
And whilst Everton’s finances have improved with the arrival of new majority shareholder Mr Moshiri, star striker Romelu Lukaku is likely to reject the Toffees’ offer of a new contract and instead push for a move away, with former club Chelsea a possible destination.
This will represent a devastating blow for an improving Everton side, while manager Ronald Koeman will also have to work hard to replace his prolific forward.
Everton in recent seasons have fought off interest in players – long gone are the days when players such as Arteta would need to move away, but Everton still are unlikely to be able to compete with the salaries of United and Chelsea who can pay their players hundreds of thousands of pounds with or without Champions League football.
The Brilliance of Lukaku and His Influence This Season
With Ross Barkley also being tipped with a potential move away from Goodison, this summer could be a traumatic one for the Merseyside club.
We think it is a very strong chance that Rooney will rejoin Everton this summer for a nominal fee.
Even with Rooney, who would be more of a replacement for a Ross, Everton may need another prolific forward up front should Lukaku go.
Lukaku will represent the bigger loss than Ross, with his record of 25 goals in 37 EPL appearances this term. In fact, he has scored an impressive 40% of all Everton’s league goals this term, while providing an irrepressible focal point in attack. With a total of six league assists to his name, he has can lay claim to having a direct hand in half of Everton’s goals in the EPLL since the beginning of August.
Make no mistake; anyone making weekend football predictions is likely to have Lukaku down to bag a goal or two, and this type of consistency and reliability is hard to find at the business end of the pitch.
How Can Everton Replace Lukaku?
Given this, manager Ronald Koeman faces an almost impossible challenge if he is to successfully replace the uniquely gifted Belgian in the summer.
The club is at least in a position to demand an astronomical fee from potential suitors, with the Belgian contracted to remain Everton until the summer of 2018. While he is refusing to sign a new deal, the Toffees have enough leeway to make a profit on their £28 million investment, particularly if they can spark a bidding war among all interested parties.
Not only this, but former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho did not include a buy-back clause when selling Lukaku to Everton back in 2014. This means that the Toffees are not obliged to anyone for a predetermined price, which has enabled the club to place an estimated £70 million price tag on the Belgian’s head.
In Summary: Why Koeman Must Choose Quality over Quantity
If Everton can sell Lukaku for £70 million or more, it is imperative that Koeman strives to reinvest this money carefully. More specifically, he needs to avoid the mistakes made by Liverpool and Spurs after selling Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale respectively, as both clubs choose to spend the subsequent funds on a high quantity of players rather than world class replacements.
This will be difficult, but Koeman must compare the breadth of the market and identify replacements with the pedigree, talent and goals record to thrive at the highest level. Everton need as striker who can turn up to the big games and deliver, and are at a stage were they can realistically challenge for the top four, and therefore whilst a big squad is needed, quality is more important than quantity (especially when it comes to the potential replacement of Lukaku).