With Lukaku, Everton Are Officially One Of The Big Boys

After Romelu Lukaku posted a picture on his Instagram account with the caption ‘time to write a new chapter’ with a gleaming smiling, many thought either he was returning to Stamford Bridge to play for Chelsea next season, or the unfounded rumors were true, that Lukaku was on his way to Real Madrid. The next picture he posted revealed it was neither Chelsea nor Real Madrid he was going to. Lukaku had arrived at Goodison Park.

Lukaku’s deal was worth a whopping £28million, nearly doubling the previous transfer fee record of £15million that Everton paid for Marouane Fellaini. For the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and even Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham these days, the amount may seem a lilliputian figure, but for a club like Everton, the only one of the aforementioned clubs without a foreign investor as its owner, it’s a landmark signing. To lure a player from UEFA Champion’s League contenders like Chelsea and Real Madrid was a feat, but for a player of Lukaku’s stature, the tides could very well turn for the Toffees.

Previous manager David Moyes was instrumental in making the Toffees a Premier League mainstay club, nearly guiding them to the Champions League Group Stage in 2005 and always ending the season in respectable positions. But it was the Scotsman’s inability to hold onto key players like Wayne Rooney, Thomas Gravesen, Joleon Lescott, and Jack Rodwell that casts him aside from current coach Roberto Martinez.

The Spanish coach has proved to be a consistent manager from his previous positions at Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, and has been nothing short of remarkable in his first season with the club. Last season, Martinez’s team was the longest running side that went unbeaten (for nearly 2 months), and although they underperformed in the both the FA and League Cup, Everton finished 5th, meaning they will play Europa League football this upcoming season. On their way to finishing just one position away from Champion’s League football, Martinez steered his side to wins against Chelsea and Arsenal, and most impressively, Everton completed the double against Manchester United, then coached by former Everton boss Moyes.

In addition to Lukaku opting to remain a Toffee, Everton has a new acquisition in Muhamed Besic, signed from Hungary’s Ferencvaros, and perhaps Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best player in their World Cup run this summer. They have also managed to get midfield sensation Ross Barkley to extend his contract with the club, and have swayed former Manchester City man Gareth Barry to make his move to Goodison a permanent one.

With one more month left for clubs to wheel and deal in the summer transfer window, Everton will perhaps get one or two more players in, but it’s the signing of Lukaku that has been their biggest deal, not just this summer but perhaps ever. While on loan with the club last year, Lukaku scored 16 goals in 31 appearances, more or less scoring in every other match.

Martinez even went on to name Lukaku’s signing as “not just important for this season. [But] a significant day in the history of this football club.” And it’s true, it wasn’t inasmuch that Everton chose Lukaku, it was more that Lukaku choose Everton that makes this such a historic day for the Merseyside club.

If they perform like they did last year and clinch a UEFA Champion’s League berth for next season, Lukaku will be expected to stay with Everton, who will also be attracting the likes of Europe’s other star footballers. In a day and age where money talks and all else walks, Everton’s dishing out the cash for Lukaku is where the money talks, and where all else walks — or runs rather, is where that money spent should become money well spent, and that can only be displayed on the pitch. With 2013 FA Cup Winner Martinez at the helm, it wouldn’t seem so impulsive to foresee Everton winning a trophy this season. Finishing top of the league may still be somewhat of a long shot, but with Everton in three cups, they shouldn’t be written off.

14 thoughts on “With Lukaku, Everton Are Officially One Of The Big Boys”

  1. Agreed man. Lukaku is better than Soldado and Adebayor. Liverpol are going to SORELY miss Suarez so that leaves Everton with a good chance to battle Arsenal for 4th.

  2. They are not one of the big boys. Lukaku is a good signing. Who is their backup striker? Lukaku is not going to be able to play every match. And then what do Everton do? Everton do not have the depth to be a big boy club. And unless they are bought by an owner with more money, they never will be.

    This is like Spurs saying they are a big club because they made it to the CL once in a decade.

    If Lukaku pushes on and becomes a great striker, then how long does he stay? Not very long. attract other of Europe’s stars?

    The big boys have pushed onto another level as LFC have learned by not being able to attract Top quality signings even though they can offer CL and wage.

    EFC are a great club and a 5/6th finish and a EL run is what their fans should hope for every year. And that is success for a smaller club. Most PL clubs crave to be in EFC’s position, but please have a bit of perspective.

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I’ve always considered Everton a big club. Same goes for Villa and Newcastle, even though they haven’t had good seasons recently. Big fan base, plenty of history and previous success, even if it’s not been in the Premier League era.

    1. I think Moyes and his tactics gave the illusion that Everton were a small club with plucky players who somehow managed to miraculously finish in the top 7 or 8 every year.

      1. Well said. Everton are a big club. Moyes made them into a perennial mid-table team.

        That being said, while Lukaku is a good signing, he is not the magic pill for Toffee dominance yet.

  4. It is too early to be making this claim. Lets see if Lukaku can perform like he did last year and see where Everton line up on the Table. The bottom half of the table is extremely tight, while the top of the table is pretty tight too.

  5. I agree with all the above comments, that Everton were already a big club, that they have no back-up striker, and that results need to be proved on the pitch…but my point was that being able to hold onto a player that not only cost that much, but was attracting interest from huge clubs like Real Madrid, is something Everton have never done before.

    With Lukaku up front and Martinez at the helm, I think Everton will be a team whose adversaries will fear more than they did in previous seasons.

  6. Nitpicking a bit here, but Spurs are not owned by a foreign owner, nor does he finance moves for players…

    That aside, Lukaku is a great sign for Everton and I expect them to be battling it out with Spurs/Pool/Arsenal/ManU in and around 3-7th. Martinez is a fantastic manager. Having extra games to play in the form of the Europa League with the squad they have may prove a problem, though. (As a Spurs fan I know this from experience!!!)

    1. Technically, the majority owner of Spurs is ENIC International, which is registered in The Bahamas. Joe Lewis, the owner of ENIC, is English though.

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