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Lukaku hints at future Everton exit

Striker wants to play for "top" club again

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku has provided the latest chapter in Everton's miserable season by revealing he is already looking forward to his career beyond Goodison Park.

The Belgian only signed a permanent deal last summer, costing the club a hefty £28million, and although he is the current top scorer with 10 goals he has struggled to match the form of previous seasons.

That seemingly hasn't stopped him from taking a dig at his current employers though, effectively telling Everton they are a stepping stone in his career.

Lukaku is quoted as saying after Wednesday's defeat at Stamford Bridge:

"It was brilliant to play at Chelsea and I had a good reception.

"They know I’m a good player but that I want to develop so I can eventually get back to playing for a club like Chelsea.

"I don’t have a secret ambition to rejoin — there are other clubs in the world. I just want to grow as a player and eventually arrive at a top club again."

The words are worringly similar to those of Kevin Mirallas, who is also seemingly pushing for a move in the summer.

Lukaku has always struck me as an honest player and he has never hid his ambition to improve and become the best player he can possibly be.

On this occasion though he has been a bit too honest and his words - admittedly spun by a tabloid newspaper - come across as disrespectful to a club he has only been a permanent employee of for six months.

The timing is also all wrong given his patchy form - no club is likely to want to buy him unless he dramatically improves his performances.

It's also frustrating how footballers play poorly but then suddenly want out, as if the team's struggles are nothing to do with them. The summer may well see the team start to break up as a result.

As for the "top club" quotes, well that, I'm afraid, is the sad reality of football today.

Everton are the fourth most successful side in English football but their 20-year barren spell has seen a generation of players emerge who now rank us alongside the likes of West Brom and Stoke.

Chelsea are now lauded as one of the biggest clubs in the world, yet they had won the league once - in 1955 - before they were bankrolled by Roman Abramovich.

Lukaku's comments are a symptom of the gradual malaise that has enveloped Everton since the 1990s and seemingly eroded them from the history books in the eyes of the modern player and supporter.

Unless something dramatically changes then there will be plenty of other players after Romelu who will be looking to trample over Everton on their way to the top.