Romelu Lukaku has always delivered the goals. In fact, his brace at the weekend against West Ham has left him just 13 shy of a century in the Premier League – but do goals always mean success? They should when you’re scoring as many as the Belgian striker did for the Toffees.
With 53 goals in three seasons at Everton (since his permanent transfer), you’d expect that the former talisman would have propelled the Merseyside club into contention for a Champions League place, but all of Lukaku’s hard work lead to just 24 points – less than three wins per season.
It’s clear why the current Manchester United forward wanted to move to a bigger club.
— evertonfcpics (@GoodisonPics) August 12, 2017
Wayne Rooney’s 16th Premier League goal for his boyhood club against Stoke means that the Manchester United legend has now contributed to 24 points for the Blues.
Remarkably, this means that Rooney only has to score one more goal in a victory or a draw to surpass Lukaku’s return.
While you could argue that Romelu Lukaku was being held back, to be fair to Everton, the club rarely invested thoroughly before the arrival of Ronald Koeman. The Merseyside club has instead looked to utilise the academy along with some shrewd acquisitions – such as the signings of Seamus Coleman and Idrissa Gueye.
Theoretically, Lukaku’s 53 goals would have returned a much higher points total if Everton had invested and strengthened their squad sooner.
— Alex Panton (@RedDevilPant) July 8, 2017
Despite Rooney’s much more impressive points return per goal – it’s important to remember that the Premier League was much less competitive in 2004, but also, the forwards have no control of the rest of the team – the defence has never been particularly strong.
Still, while 53 goals should be returning more than 24 points in a season, Everton performed poorly under Roberto Martinez – consecutively finishing in 11th place in the Belgian forward’s first two seasons.
Regardless of the Toffees’ poor league finishes, the Belgian target-man’s time on Merseyside was by no means a waste of time. Left in the cold by Chelsea, first-team football was imperative; in essence, both Manchester United and Everton have benefited from Chelsea’s negligence.
The player with the most impressive points per goal ratio is James Milner – unbeaten in the Premier League. Whilst the £75million forward might not have replicated such a record at Everton, his chances at Manchester United are much higher.
Belgium’s star forward thrives against weaker opposition. He’s a player who can break down a stubborn defence who are only out of shape when they have a set piece, the same teams that frustrated Jose Mourinho’s side to 15 draws last season.
Old Trafford’s new talisman will make it noticeably harder for smaller teams to get a result at Old Trafford this season – already evident from the West Ham fixture.
The main reason for this is the versatility of Romelu Lukaku. Some may mock his first touch in some situations, but the threat which the forward poses is unique. The size of a target man, joint with pace, strong finishing and heading – the Belgian is a nightmare for those lesser teams.
Wayne Rooney scored this brilliant goal just 34 mins into his first Everton pre-season game.
The perfect start! 👊
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) July 14, 2017
Wayne Rooney was almost criminally under-appreciated in his latter years at Manchester United – both for club and country. The English attacker has never lost the ability to be a top Premier League player, and hopefully, he can prove that this year back home.
Still, while Rooney has the much better points return per goal from the two – It’s important to remember how shocking the Everton defence was under Roberto Martinez – conceding 105 goals in Lukaku’s first two seasons. No wonder his goals never amounted to any points.