Next Game

Everton v Stoke

Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 10:00

Friendly Match

Martinez: Lukaku ready to start

On-loan striker Romelu Lukaku can be so much more than just a super-sub for Everton, according to his manager Roberto Martinez.

Last Updated: 30/09/13 at 06:13 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Backs Romelu Lukaku

Roberto Martinez: Backs Romelu Lukaku

It was from the bench that the Belgium international announced himself to the Toffees faithful last weekend in a goalscoring cameo on a debut which helped turn the tide in his new side's favour against West Ham.

The 20-year-old was often deployed as a substitute during his time with West Brom last season too, and he signed off at the Hawthorns by coming on to score a second-half hat-trick in a remarkable 5-5 draw with the already-anointed Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United.

Lukaku started 20 times for the Baggies in the league but appeared as a replacement in a further 15 games as his combination of size, speed and athleticism posed a unique challenge for weary defenders.

However, while some strikers have forged a career making impacts in the latter stages of games, Martinez is adamant the Chelsea forward can influence contests from the very first whistle.

"I think every team is different and the options that you have in that team are different," said the Everton manager.

"Romelu now, at his age, has had enough experience. When you score 17 goals in this league you mature a lot, and quickly, and I do feel that Romelu is ready to start.

"He's not an impact player and he's not someone who needs to come on when games are open, his overall game is good enough to start games and affect games from that point.

"But you look at the options in that position, it's exciting. We've got Arouna Kona, Nikica Jelavic and Romelu Lukaku. It's as good as it gets. We're really, really pleased to have a position here where it's going to be very expensive to play. That develops great competition and it raises the standard."

Martinez sees similar strength in depth in Everton's opponents on Monday night Newcastle.

A lack of activity during the summer transfer window coupled with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in their first game left some Magpies fans fearing the worst this season.

However, Martinez believes Alan Pardew's men will pose a serious threat to the Premier League's only remaining unbeaten record at Goodison Park.

"I see a really good balance between experience and organisation but then a real threat with the likes of (Loic) Remy, (Papiss) Cisse, (Hatem) Ben Arfa and (Yohan) Cabaye," added Martinez.

"You're talking about top, top footballers who are in a good moment in their careers and full internationals.

"You take away the Manchester City game and they've been performing at a very, very good level so it would be foolish for anyone to underestimate the potential of this Newcastle side."


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

Copa America: Chile beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties

Hosts Chile won the Copa America for the first time thanks to a 4-1 penalty shoot-out success over Argentina after the final ended goalless.

Sergio Ramos has refused to discuss interest from Manchester United

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has raised further question marks over his future after a coy response concerning interest from Manchester United.

Van Persie 'agrees Fenerbahce terms'

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is close to joining Fenerbahce after reportedly agreeing terms with the Turkish club.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

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