Next Game

Everton v Stoke

Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 10:00

Friendly Match

Martinez: Lukaku can get better

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is expecting loan signing Romelu Lukaku to improve this season.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 15:16 Post Comment

Romelu Lukaku: On loan at Everton for the season

Romelu Lukaku: On loan at Everton for the season

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is ready to unleash loan signing Romelu Lukaku in the belief he is capable of improving on his 17 Premier League goals last season.

The Belgium international, a late arrival from Chelsea on transfer deadline day, was ineligible for last weekend's victory over his parent club at Goodison Park.

However, his debut is likely to come at West Ham on Saturday and Martinez is confident the 20-year-old can surpass his impressive loan spell at West Brom, where he averaged virtually a goal every other league game.

"I have been very impressed with Romelu," said the Spaniard.

"We have seen him develop into a top striker from the outside: at 16 he came through the ranks at Anderlecht and all of a sudden you can see the potential.

"When you get to work with him you can see he is a very mature boy after his experiences.

"He is really intelligent with good football knowledge and above everything he has a huge desire to succeed and that is exactly what we need in the dressing room.

"What he brings is something we haven't got and that always excites you as a manager.

"Looking at what he did last season (scoring 17 in 35 appearances) he is capable of working and improving on that.

"That is our target. He is still very young and we hope it can be a perfect marriage over the next 10 months."

The availability of Lukaku and the return to fitness of Arouna Kone puts further pressure on Nikica Jelavic, who has started all four of Everton's league matches this season.

Jelavic is mired in a dreadful run of form which has seen him score just once (on March 16) in his past 25 matches for the Toffees.

Martinez insists he is not putting any extra pressure on the Croatia international but he expects increased competition - he also believes Kevin Mirallas can do a job up front despite playing most of his Everton career in a wide midfield role - to help.

"Niki has been working extremely hard and he should not be judged by the number of goals he has scored," said Martinez.

"If you look at the goal we scored against Chelsea it was a perfect header (by Jelavic) back into the six-yard area so his contribution was perfect on the day and it is about maintaining standards on the day.

"Every player wants to have as strong a squad as you can have because the competition is really demanding and you want to look around and see players that you know if you drop your standards you will lose your place to.

"Everyone is in that frame of mind. You want to be at your best, knowing you can help your team.

"We have Romelu to come back into the squad now and Arouna Kone to come back in after injury to join Nikica up front so we have three outstanding options for that position.

"Kevin Mirallas has also played in that position. When he played at Olympiacos he tended to play through the middle

"He brings you a different option up front with his pace and movement and knowing how to hurt the opposition he can be very valuable.

"You want competition for places, different types of players and different attributes that can help the team."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

England bow out of Women's World Cup after added-time own goal

Laura Bassett's added-time own goal saw England exit the Women's World Cup with an agonising 2-1 defeat to Japan.

Dani Osvaldo leaves Southampton two years early

Southampton have terminated the contract of record signing Dani Osvaldo.

Slaven Bilic missing from West Ham bench for Europa League opener

Academy manager Terry Westley will be in charge when West Ham make their Europa League debut against Andorran side FC Lusitans.

Mail Box

Are United Aiming Too High On Transfers?

One mailer wonders whether United are aiming a little high on their transfer ambitions. Plus, BAHs, West Ham in Europe, petty annoyances and Michu to United...

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company