Friday 23 March 2018

Martinez adamant Lukaka will stay


Everton defender Phil Jagielka celebrates scoring for his side against Southampton
Everton defender Phil Jagielka celebrates scoring for his side against Southampton
Everton's Aaron Lennon is challenged by Victor Wanyama of Southampton
Southampton defender Jose Fonte vies with Everton's Arouna Kone
Everton full-back Seamus Coleman tackles Eljero Elia of Southampton


Roberto Martinez insists there is no issue with striker Romelu Lukaku's future at the club despite comments from his new agent setting alarm bells ringing among fans.

The Belgium international, who was injured for this win over Southampton courtesy of Phil Jagielka's fifth goal of the season, has just signed up with Mino Raiola, who has the likes of Mario Balotelli and Paul Pogba on his books.

On Friday the 21-year-old told a Belgian newspaper: "The Everton directors don't have to think Rom will play there for the rest of his career."

Martinez dismissed the comments, suggesting Raiola was trying to make a statement of intent having taken over the 21-year-old's interest.

"He is an agent that has worked just a short period of time with a new client. For whatever reason he needs to do those comments," said the Everton boss. "I am not going to get involved talking about an agent.

"Romelu is one of the most important signings we have ever made; that shows the commitment and the investment we have made. He has an incredible talent and at 21 he has a long-term contract. Romelu is a very important player for us."

Turning his thoughts to Everton's third successive victory, which has lifted them to 11th in the table, Martinez was pleased with the way his side ground out the result.

"We stopped them from doing what they normally do. They found it hard to break us down," he added. "They only had two shots on target which shows you how well we defended."

Saints boss Ronald Koeman admitted the defeat had ended their outside chance of Champions League football.

Sunday Indo Sport

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