So Lukaku wants to leave? That’s nothing new, and hasn’t changed since the moment he signed at the club. When people see that he wants to leave, it usually means that a player is unhappy at his current club, but Lukaku is happy and clearly enjoys playing for Everton.
He is fiercely ambitious though and wants things that Everton can’t currently give him, specifically Champions League football. A player of his talent deserves to retire with numerous winners medals. Can he achieve that at Everton? Well, even though most people think that the club are moving in the right direction, it’s still a while off Everton being able to compete at the top of the Premier League.
Lukaku has no loyalty to Everton to see such a project through, he isn’t an Evertonian and isn’t going to wait around out of the goodness of his heart. Whilst interviews with the press are disrespectful, he was hardly disrespectful in what he said. He is 24 in May, and it’s time his talents were shown on the biggest stage, a stage Everton can’t offer him yet.
That doesn’t mean however that him leaving is a certainty, he wanted to leave last summer but didn’t. Why? Because no-one tried to buy him. The options he has to move on are very limited. He wants to be at the biggest clubs in the world but there are only a few who are capable of winning the Champions League, and even fewer who are capable, and looking for a striker.
You get the feeling that Lukaku wants to jump from Everton straight into a team that is capable of challenging for honours. That rules out clubs like Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Dortmund etc. who, while enjoying a much higher level than Everton, struggle to compete with the bigger teams in their leagues.
In Spain, only Real Madrid and Barcelona fit the bill, and you can’t see those two putting in a bid. Real Madrid because Lukaku isn’t a big enough name right now and they could attract almost any striker in the world, and Barcelona as he is not their type of player and I’m fairly sure they’re okay for striking talent already. A look over to Italy, and it could only be Juventus, who have apparently been interested in the past. But they’re not in the market as they have two world class strikers in Higuain and Dybala that they are happy with. In Germany, Bayern have Lewandowski and in France PSG have Cavani.
It would be a surprise for any of those teams to come in for Lukaku as it’s only really been this season that the Belgian has been a consistent performer, and he has disappointed on the European and World stage for his country. The hype around him has only just started to grow and he would cost any team wanting his services a lot of money.
In England however, it may be different. There are three clubs who I think he’d be happy to go to, but Manchester City have Pep Guardiola who has Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, so that seems unlikely. Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they may not be in the Champions League next season. The attraction of playing for them may be too much for Lukaku however, and that’s a genuine possibility. The other is Chelsea, and their constant rumours about Costa leaving. If he does then you could see a return for Lukaku.
So while Everton fans are worried about him leaving, his options are very limited. If those clubs decide to look elsewhere, then selling him is by no means a certainty. It was exactly the same situation this time last year. Only a few clubs could attract him and afford him, but none of them were interested. With his improved performances this season, that may change. If it does, Everton will brush themselves off and move on. Move on with a much inflated bank balance capable of strengthening the team in multiple areas.