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Perfect fit

Romelu Lukaku will flourish at Everton in a way he might never have done at Chelsea, Steve Clarke told Goals on Sunday.

Last Updated: 26/08/14 at 11:42 Post Comment

Steve Clarke thinks Romelu Lukaku will thrive at Everton

Steve Clarke thinks Romelu Lukaku will thrive at Everton

Lukaku joined The Toffees for a club record fee of £28million this summer, following a loan stint at Goodison Park last term that yielded 15 Premier League goals.

And Clarke – who managed Lukaku when the Belgian enjoyed a temporary stay at West Brom during the 2012/13 campaign – believes the 21-year-old will be more effective playing for a top-six club as opposed to a title-chasing team.

“I was a little surprised Chelsea chose to let Lukaku go, but knowing Romelu like I do, I know he is a boy who is very confident, very sure of himself and his ability, and insistent on wanting to play all the time,” said Clarke.

“Chelsea brought in Diego Costa, too, which would have made Romelu second striker at best, so he would have spent a lot of time on the bench and that probably forced the issue.

“But Romelu is great when there is space in behind, which perhaps he didn't get at Chelsea.

"Teams go to Stamford Bridge and sit deep but for a team like West Brom, who normally had to sit deep and counter attack, there was always space for Romelu to run into.

“The goal he set-up for Steven Naismith against Arsenal on Saturday came about by doing that and maybe that is a bigger strength for him than holding the ball up, linking the play and finding clever movements in the box.”

Tussle

Lukaku’s 17 goals in 35 matches helped West Brom finish eighth in the Premier League in 2012/13 but the Baggies stuttered the year after when the former Anderlecht youngster headed to Merseyside.

And Clarke – who lost his job at The Hawthorns midway through that season – says there was never any realistic chance of the Black Country outfit bringing Lukaku to the club permanently.

“The difference between my first season at West Brom and the second was Romelu, as when you lose that amount of goals from your team it is difficult to replace,” added Clarke.

“We didn’t try to buy him because for a club like West Brom, who like to spend wisely and bring in players on short-term contracts, the money was probably a bit too much.

“But we did have a good tussle with Everton when trying to get him back on loan and unfortunately for us he chose them.

“However, I think you can now see with what he has done at Everton that he made the right choice for himself – and he can still become an even stronger player.”

Did Chelsea make a mistake selling Lukaku? Can Everton get in the top four with him? Let us know your thoughts using the feedback form below…

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A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
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