Five Reasons Lukaku Is The Best Young Striker In The World
Everyone gets excited when a new young striker bursts onto the scene.
Especially Ed Woodward, who has been known to throw more than £50m at teenage strikers from Monaco, but that’s another level.
Whether they go on to super stardom like Lionel Messi or turn out like Federico Macheda, the hype around them is soon justified or otherwise after a couple of seasons.
One man who has lived up to his potential is Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who has gone from strength to strength after switching Stamford Bridge for Goodison Park.
The young Belgian is enjoying another excellent season, and scored a stunning effort against former club Chelsea to put Everton into the semi finals of the FA Cup.
That’s got everyone talking about his future, and we think he’s destined for the very top.
Here’s five reasons why Lukaku is the best young striker in the world:
He’s Built Like A Heavyweight Boxer
Standing 6’3″ and weighing in just short of 15 stone, Lukaku has the physical presence to handle the rigours of the Premier League.
That’s why he’s been a standout player from a young age, as people find it hard to overlook a six foot 12-year-old – seriously.
He uses his frame to bully defenders off the ball and hold up play to bring in team mates, as well as getting himself between the ball and opponent when dribbling past players.
When he’s in full flight, it’s like trying to tackle a bull.
Many young strikers often lack the physical side of the game but that can’t be applied to Lukaku, who has been terrorising defenders from the age of 18 in the Premier League.
Lukaku goal GIF
He’s Ridiculously Quick
Considering his height and weight, you’d be forgiven for thinking Lukaku wasn’t the quickest.
But you’d be wrong.
His pace is probably the most surprising aspect of his game, meaning defenders simply aren’t expecting him to knock the ball past them and then run them into the ground chasing it.
Combined with his movement, Lukaku’s pace gets him into excellent positions in the box, and his goal record speaks for itself.
Just look at his goal against Chelsea last weekend.
He outpaced Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and Gary Cahill, before firing past Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal.
So yeah, he’s quick.
His Willingness To Go On Loan
A vital part of any youngster’s development is a loan spell – especially if they’re owned by Chelsea.
When Lukaku signed for Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011, it was always likely that the Belgian was going to go out on loan before getting a chance in the first team.
Unlike some teenagers who have the attitude of being too good to go out and get games, Lukaku got his head down and went to West Brom.
The Baggies are hardly the most attractive club on the market, but Lukaku still managed to score 17 league goals in 35 games while at the Hawthorns – enhancing his reputation in the process.
After returning to Chelsea and planning on fighting for a first team place, it became clear that he wasn’t going to get a chance.
Instead of sitting on the bench collecting his more than decent wages, Lukaku went on loan to Everton and produced a similar goal haul, before signing permanently a year later.
Since arriving in the Premier League and being given plenty of game time, Lukaku is always a threat.
Thanks to his physique, the 22-year-old always has a way of affecting the game, whether it’s with his pace, height or ability to drop deep and take possession.
A common criticism of young strikers is that they struggle for consistency and tend to only affect games in fits and starts, so to have the consistency needed to become one of the world’s best is something that sets him apart from others.
His Goal Record
Lukaku became just the fifth player under 23 to score 50 Premier League goals in November last year, joining Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo on the exclusive list.
Since leaving Chelsea on loan – and then permanently when he signed for Everton – Lukaku has never scored less than ten Premier League goals.
That kind of record is as good as anyone who’s ever played in the Premier League, and his record of netting 50 in 100 games for Everton could see him go on to become one of the league’s all time top scorers.
From next season, if Lukaku scores 15 goals per season for the next three years, he’ll have scored more goals than Didier Drogba, and he’ll only be 26.