Romelu Lukaku’s devastating form has been one of the few highlights of Everton’s season and the Belgium forward has proven that those who believed in his potential were right. At a mere 22 years old, he could go on to become one of the top strikers in the world. Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will continue his progression at Goodison Park.
In recent interviews, Lukaku has stated that he believes the time is right for him to play in the Champions League and there is little doubt that he will be able to find a suitor. With odds of around 11/2 at the time of writing to be the Premier League’s top scorer, it is certainly worth a look for some free bets on oddschecker to back Lukaku to outscore the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
Surely if Lukaku does manage to claim the golden boot there will be plenty of elite clubs scrambling for his signature in the summer. Everton fans must now become accustomed to the fact that they will probably have to say goodbye to the player who has been the stand-out star of the current campaign.
One positive to take from this situation is that the prolific striker should pull in some hefty transfer offers, with Roberto Martinez stating in 2015 that he believed the player to be worth at least Â£55million. This, along with the investment from Farhad Moshiri, would give the club substantial funds to not only replace Lukaku but also strengthen the squad considerably in other areas as well. Signing three or four top-quality players to add to the burgeoning talent already at the club could make a huge difference. So hypothetically, who could Everton look to buy to replace Lukaku in the summer if this mooted transfer does come to pass? Here are three players who have previously been linked with moves to Goodison Park and could be ideal replacements for Lukaku.
With Lukaku being the primary source of goals this season, Everton need to replace him with someone who has a proven goal scoring record. Looking for a striker already playing in the Premier League who is familiar with the English style of play may be the way forward. Saido Berahino could be a shrewd buy, as he has been desperate for a move away from West Brom for some time now. However, he does have a considerably inflated price tag. The youngster has not been given that much of a chance as yet in the Premier League, but has shown, especially in the 2014/15 season, that he has a keen eye for goal. In a smarter outfit like Everton’s, he could thrive. However, for the same kind of money, Everton could look to other European leagues for a striker who can fit with their attacking style.
The Toffees have previously shown interest in Islam Slimani, the Sporting Lisbon striker who has scored over 22 goals this season. The Algerian forward is reportedly worth around Â£23million and has also attracted interest from Manchester United and Leicester City. There are some doubts that the 27-year-old would be an upgrade on Lukaku, with him coming from a weaker league and the possibility of him not being able to continue this form in England. Maybe Everton should look to younger players who they can develop.
Batshuayi could be an excellent replacement for Lukaku. He has an impressive goalscoring record, averaging in just under a goal every two games throughout his career so far. Everton were linked with a move for the striker in 2014, but it was Marseille who ended up signing him for around Â£5million. This was an absolute bargain at the time and it is thought that the player is worth a lot more now. He has attracted interest from a number of other clubs including, Tottenham Hotspur, who also recognise his potential. So, Everton will have to move fast if they want to try and sign him in the summer.
Of course, there are plenty of other strikers that fans would love to see at the club. However, it will prove difficult to attract the very best without European football on offer. Everton should take a chance on some of the young players that have shown they may have bright futures.