Sunday 24 September 2017

Roberto Martinez: Romelu Lukaku loves life at Everton

Romelu Lukaku (C) celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against BCS Young-Boys in the Europa League.
Romelu Lukaku (C) celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against BCS Young-Boys in the Europa League.

Boss Roberto Martinez said Romelu Lukaku had demonstrated he "loves playing for Everton" with his performance in the 4-1 victory at Young Boys.

Lukaku delivered a stand-out individual display as part of what was an impressive team effort by the Toffees in the Europa League last 32 first leg in Switzerland, notching three of their goals to register his first Toffees hat-trick.

The 21-year-old Belgium striker, who Everton paid a club record £28million for last summer to recruit him from Chelsea after having him on loan for the previous season, was quoted last week following a 1-0 loss to his former employers as saying he would like to "eventually arrive at a top club again."

But Martinez played down that matter after the Young Boys match, saying: "There has been a lot written about that - there was a conversation taken a little bit out of context after the Chelsea game.

"It was clearly someone looking for a headline about if Rom wanted to perform in order to come back to Chelsea, and his answer probably didn't reflect what he meant.

"It's never an issue. Rom was delighted to commit himself to Everton.

"He loves playing for Everton, and I think he showed that today.

"A footballer needs to be measured by the way he talks on the pitch. Sometimes a microphone can be put in front of you and people then dissect everything you say and highlight a word or line which is not appropriate.

"It's not an issue. He's a special footballer who we love seeing developing, and he's just enjoying being an important player for Everton."

Martinez added of Lukaku, who now has 13 goals this season: "He's the complete striker, but he's only 21 and people forget about that.

"Our desire and work we put in over the summer was to show we are the perfect place for him to develop.

"We saw today he really makes a difference in front of goal and he's someone who is going to have a really strong ending to the season."

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