It’s impossible to consistently get nice things as an Everton fan isn’t it?
Ambitious rich owners. A nice new stadium on the horizon. Talented and ambitious manager. Great home record with 5 wins in a row. Main (only really) striker bang in form and about to sign a new 5-year contract to rubber-stamp the club’s ambitions and be a sign of intent to the rest of the league. Any minute now. 99.9999% sure according to his agent. Any minute.
I mean, I have seen a lot of reaction from people on social media/texts which seems split. Half of the people are pretty distraught about it and are desperate for him to change his mind. The other half? Well, they see his quality but kind’ve expected something like this to happen. Here’s why I think is the case.
“Big Rom” has always seen Everton as some kind of springboard from Chelsea to another huge Champions League team. He has always been pretty vocal about it. He has been linked with other clubs every pre-season since he signed for us, even when he has extended his contract (we know a new contract means very little these days). Chances are that even if he signs a new deal he’ll still be linked with other clubs come the Summer as they look to activate a clause in his contract.
He’ll smile, his agent will deal with it, and in the end he’ll get what he wants. He might even go back to Chelsea which he’s spoken about before to fight it out with Costa. Well, fine.
Everton are a club on the up. We have loads of cash and, although it is likely to only be the Europa League, European football should be returning to the club this Summer (unless we ‘do an Everton’ and finish eighth of course). There is a real buzz about the club that says that, by 2020, we should really be challenging for those top CL places. Maybe even a cheeky title challenge one year.
That will no doubt be too far ahead for Lukaku to want to get involved in – he wants CL now it seems. He signed before Koeman came in and maybe has not bought into the ‘project’ that has been spoken about for a while. He may not believe that we can achieve everything that he wants quickly, or that we’ll become a Leicester City-type team and only be in the CL for one season before returning to a lower league position. Of course I write this ahead of Leicester’s inevitable victory against Barca in the final on penalties…
What I’m trying to say is that it’s been great having Lukaku here. 62 league goals for someone that people say is ‘lazy’ isn’t bad, and we should appreciate it whilst he’s here. But if he wants to go, let him. We’ve seen this with Rooney, Stones and Lescott. We moved on, and progressed too. We’ll get someone else in, probably from Southampton, and they’ll do well too.
So, I actually really hope he signs the new deal and that we build on the side we have with yet more quality. Yet let’s not pretend we won’t be here again this time next year. We’re going places, and who knows – we might come up against Big Rom in a final or two in the future.