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Can Everton do anything to keep Romelu Lukaku?

Wednesday 29th March 2017
It has been the burning question at the heart of most Evertonians over the past few months and it is one that has come to the fore in recent weeks in particular; can Everton do anything to make Romelu Lukaku stay at Goodison Park?

The Belgian international has shot to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with 21 goals this season. He has been aided by an injury to nearest rival Harry Kane, but the forward has been in scintillating form, meaning nobody is begrudging him the inside line for the golden boot.

While Everton's fans are basking in his goalscoring glory, many have already come to the realisation that it will not last.

Chelsea sold the Belgian in 2014 for £28 million, with Everton picking up a very exciting and talented prospect. But he was just that, a prospect. Many of the biggest teams in Europe would not have gone near the striker as too often a promising player has cost tens of millions of pounds and repaid very little of it.

For Everton, it was a risk worth taking. Buying the forward for £28 million goes against the tight fiscal planning that Everton are known for, with the purchase sating supporters' calls for a big money player, while if it was a success, it was always going to end in a heavy-hearted goodbye from the fans.

Unfortunately for the Toffees, unless they could somehow secure Champions League football and a near top of the table finish this season, Everton was only ever going to be a stop gap for the striker. It is incredibly harsh on the side that has nurtured him, but that is just modern football: cold.

While it is cruel on his current incubator, it will only allow his next home to inhibit more goals, more powerful displays and, both club and player will hope, more trophies too.
Can Everton do anything to stop him from leaving though? Probably not. Trophies and the chance to play alongside and against Europe's elite will always trump everything else, while the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United can afford to pay far more for Lukaku's services than Everton can.

Once again, it is a cruel fact of football, money talks.

It has not been all doom and gloom for the club though, quite the opposite in fact. They have been able to utilise one of the best young talents in the Premier League, with the Belgian netting 64 times in 132 games for the Toffees. In conjunction with this, just having Lukaku on the team sheet can help Everton win the mental battle before a game, giving them an immediate advantage.

Lukaku is also at the forefront of the Toffees' European push. With the top clubs still dropping points and finding consistency hard to come by, Everton have chased them down, and the gap looks far from insurmountable.

If Lukaku is to leave, and it looks almost certain that he will, then he will leave a very large hole in the club. However, he may leave the club in a far better position than where he found it.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.

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