Reports about the transfer of Romelu Lukaku have been gaining momentum. Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola talked to the Belgian newspaper La Dernere Heure and suggested a move to a top club is in the cards.
Raiola also suggested that the Belgian striker was in the class of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and would therefore attract wages in addition to a transfer price of around £70 million that very few clubs in the world can offer.
While Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were mentioned by name, Raiola suggested that a top English club could also be a possible destination for Lukaku next season.
Lukaku has managed to score at least 10 Premier League goals in each of the last four seasons. For two of these seasons he was on loan from Chelsea at West Bromwich Albion and Everton, respectively. Everton took him to Merseyside for £28 million in 2014 from Chelsea on a five-year-deal but that was when Martinez was given freedom to build his own team. The Everton board seems to have lost faith in the man to lead this project but whether or not Koeman will completely overhaul his predecessor’s squad is yet to be seen.
The player himself has also indicated that a lot of clubs including the French champions are interested in him but he has trusted Raiola with the transfer dealings in an interview with GQ this week.
“A lot of clubs are obviously interested in having me in their squad. I have to continue to play well and have a good European Championship so that more clubs are interested in me. But I’m still under contract with Everton. We’ll see what happens.”, said the striker who banged in 18 goals in the league last season for the Toffees.
But with the departure of manager Roberto Martinez, and the arrival of Ronald Koeman from Southampton, it is unclear if the 23-year-old is still in the plans for the future at Goodison Park.
If the move does happen, it will seriously strengthen Arsene Wenger’s attacking arsenal. A physical presence that can hold up the ball, Lukaku’s dribbling and ability to drift in from the right makes him a player that can play in multiple attacking positions.
He could lead the line on his own as a single striker with powerful finishing, while Alexis Sanchez and Alex Iwobi or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provides width. He could also play as a right winger who cuts into his favored left foot, while Olivier Giroud plays up top. He could also play as a second striker with Giroud, providing the pace that the French striker lacks besides also bringing the ability to run at defenses with the ball.
Lukaku has been playing in England for the last five seasons and while he has the ability and experience to play in any league, besides still being young enough to learn and improve further. Lukaku left Chelsea in 2014 because he wanted to be in the starting XI and was not satisfied being a substitute striker on the bench.
Lukaku’s agent has mentioned that only top clubs in England besides Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain could afford his wages and at all these non-Premier-League sides, he will have to be satisfied with a place on the bench and maybe a starting position later.
This is why it is highly likely that he moves to an English club with Champions League football next season. This is also why Arsenal should get preference over Chelsea for signing the 6’3″ Belgian who is gearing up to play against Hungary in the Round of 16 at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse after his brace against Ireland in the group stages.