Everton 2013/14 Season Review: Romelu Lukaku

Jan Kruger

The on-loan Belgian proves why Everton need a permanent, top-class centre forward.

It is hard to predict how Everton's season may have panned out had they not had such a successful deadline day. By bringing in Romelu Lukaku, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry Roberto Martinez changed things entirely, and in the latter they had a striker the club was desperately craving, albeit on loan.

Although that loan looks set to be limited to just the one season, what a season it turned out to be for Lukaku at Everton. After an impressive year on loan at West Brom last time round, expectations were high for him to continue his progress at Goodsion Park, and that he did. After tiring in the middle of the season, and gaining a break through injury, he returned rejuvenated to push Everton to the brink of the Champions League.

According to Squawka, Lukaku finished the season with an overall performance score of 642, which actually comes in lower than his score of 736 for last year. His goal tally also fell from 17 last year to 15 this year, although he did play four fewer games. It was his goals that Everton desperately craved, and his brief stint here has shown what a difference a talented striker will make to our squad overall. It is hard not to think that might be a final piece in the Everton jigsaw.

Lukaku's shot accuracy was also high this year at 63%, an increase from 59% last year although his total number of chances created was lower at 32. There was also a similar fall in his average pass accuracy, which fell from 72% to 66%, though as the main forward many won't be interested in his passing stats anyway.

However, the Belgian did prove to be equally adept at general hold up play as he was at goalscoring, often becoming a focal point for Everton attacks on the break. He even showed a willingness to play for the team, even out of position, such as in the game against Arsenal where Martinez deployed him on the right to terrorise left back Nacho Monreal. His link up play saw him gain 6 assists this season, which is not a bad return for a lone frontman.

One area where the youngster will need to improve is his decision making, as statistics show he was caught offside 19 times across the season, though that will improve with age. It is hard to forget he is only young, a sentence that I'm sure will be used about him for quite some time.

All in all, this was an excellent season from Romelu Lukaku as he showed what a talent he is, and future star he will probably be. Whether that will be with Everton is unlikely but remains to be seen, as his love for the club does look strong. What he has shown though, is that if Everton can sign the forward they need this summer, they have the potential to be a real force once more.

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