Everton boss Roberto Martinez has spoken about his desire to keep Romelu Lukaku at Everton on a permanent basis when his loan spell on Merseyside ends next week.
Lukaku who is off to the World Cup with Belgium this summer has been at the forefront of speculation as to where his future lies with his parent club Chelsea seemingly willing to offload the 20 year old.
Martinez has always maintained that he wanted to keep Lukaku beyond his loan spell and again re-iterated that desire yesterday saying :
“I don’t think that’s my worry. The worry would be that if the deal was a cheap one, it would be because he has had a torrid time and hasn’t fulfilled his potential.
The reason Romelu came to Everton was for him to take a big role, take a lot of responsibility, to start playing 90 minutes and be a real brain in that forward line, and he has done that so we couldn’t be happier,” he added.
The parent club, Chelsea, are delighted with his progress and the player has developed an incredible relationship with our fans.
His memories will never evaporate, but we will see what’s next.
We’ll see what’s the best thing for everyone. But everything will be in stages: how Chelsea are doing in their own squad and how that frees some players. It’s going to take a bit of time and I don’t think Romelu’s situation is going to be resolved before the World Cup, in truth.
I think it will be after the World Cup. We are too close to Romelu to hope he has a poor tournament! We hope he has a really, really good World Cup . . . and then decides to come to us.”
If Everton are priced out of a deal for the 20 year old Belgian then Martinez will be looking around for another frontman so here are 5 possible alternatives the Blues boss may turn to.
1. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City)
The Ivorian front man has scored an impressive 24 goals this season for the Swans in his first season in England after completing a £12m move from Vitesse last summer. He had been equally impressive in Holland scoring 46 times in 65 appearances.
Bony was very impressive in Swansea’s 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park in March and caught the attention of the Evertonians. Bony ,who has not actually stated that he wants to leave Swansea, is fantastic at holding the ball up as well as being good in the air. He would certainly give Everton a presence and a real goal threat up front and is attracting attention from elsewhere reportedly from Borussia Dortmund who were linked with a £20m bid. That is still a sizeable transfer fee but Bony has proven this season that he can thrive in England.
If Bony was to come available then he could be an excellent addition to the Everton side for next season.
See some of Bony’s goals here :
Video courtesy of Kouahoisaac
2. Alfreð Finnbogason (Heerenveen)
Alf is a 25 year old striker who currently plays for Dutch side Heerenveen in the Eredivisie. Standing at 6ft with a good turn of pace the Icelandic striker could be a perfect front man for Roberto Martinez. Skilful on the ball he fits into the Martinez prototype and could be available for around £7-8m in the summer.
Finnbogason has scored 53 goals in 64 games for Heerenveen since joining from Swedish side Helsinborg. He has been capped 21 times for Iceland scoring on 4 occasions.
Whilst players like Finnbogason are a gamble they can also prove to be a smart signing given that their fees are more manageable than players playing in England. The argument has been that dutch football is different to England but their have been success stories like Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Luis Suarez, Christian Benteke, Wilfried Bony to go with some not so great ones like Mateja Kezman and George Samaras.
Martinez looked at Alf in January so it may not be beyond the realms of possibility to see the Blues move for him in the summer.
See Alf in action below :
Video courtesy of Alex Sch
3 . Michy Batshuayi (Standard Liege)
Michy is a forward who plays for Standard Liege in the Juniper League in Belgium. The 20 Year old striker has been linked with Everton on numerous occasions and this is certainly one that may come off this summer.
Batshuayi falls into the ‘Big Potential’ category although he has been labelled as a bit too greedy but that maturity on the ball will come with experience.
Batshuayi has scored 37 times in 90 appearances for Liege and he would certainly be a striker that Roberto Martinez would have to mould into what he wants. Michy is quick and a good dribbler who could also take up a wide position in that Everton attack offering that flexibility that Roberto talks about.
Standing at 5ft 11in also has a physical presence and that youthful quality that Martinez wants at Everton. He’s another young quick player to go with the likes of Ross Barkley, John Stones, Seamus Coleman etc ready for next season.
See Michy in action below :
Video courtesy of CSKA4everVIDEOtv
4 . Dusan Tadic (FC Twente)
Dusan Tadic who was linked with Everton in January could be another one that Roberto Martinez turns his attention to this summer. Not really as an alternative to Lukaku but certainly as an extra forward to compliment anyone else that arrives at Goodison Park.
video courtesy of ProHulst0sTV
5. Loic Remy (QPR)
Loic Remy certainly fits the bill as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku in terms of ability and pace in the final third. He has scored 14 goals for Newcastle United during his loan spell there this season but has confirmed he won’t consider staying at St James’ Park.
Remy is at a good age and has experience of playing in the Premier League now over the last 18 months. QPR boss Harry Redknapp claims that Everton are interested in the striker who has a rumoured £10m buy out clause in his contract.
Remy would be an excellent addition to Martinez’s squad and given that he is a fraction of the price it could mean that the Blues boss buys 2 strikers if the Lukaku deal doesn’t come off.
See some of Remy’s goals below :
video courtesy of AxelSCO49
Whoever we manage to sign let’s hope that they do as well if not better than Romelu has done this season. If it happens to be Lukaku then let’s hope his development continues. Going to be an interesting summer ahead and I am excited !!