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Lukaku one of the better strikers in the Premier League, possibly Europe

Koeman talks up his striker during pre-match comments

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League
Romelu Lukaku with Ronald Koeman
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Everton manager Ronald Koeman was today asked about his comments on the future of star striker Romelu Lukaku. In an interview during the international break, Koeman had indicated that he felt at some point Lukaku would move on to a bigger club, which then ignited a firestorm of controversy among the Toffees fanbase that he was trying to sell the Belgian in the January transfer window.

Even majority share owner Farhad Moshiri had to then step in and quell the noise, saying that his manager’s comments had been taken out of context.

“You had several headlines in the press about what I said. It’s not to defend myself because it’s all about the headline, you take out of context.

“What we like to show Romelu is that we are Everton, and we will be bigger and fight for titles. If Everton stays on this level then it’s not good he finishes his career at Everton because he is one of the best strikers, and is only 23 years old.

“Even if he stays for a few more years, it’s not bad for his career. He is improving, learning. Of course he’s one of the better strikers we have in the Premier League, maybe in Europe.

“Of course there is a lot of interest in the player. He needs to make the decision and the club to make the decision to accept yes or no.

“What I try to do is to keep Lukaku at the club for as long as possible.”

When pressed further about the player asking for a transfer in the summer -

“The problem in summer is the problem for the summer. Of course we know we need to be prepared, for that position, and for other positions as well.

"He took the decision to stay because he had a good feeling about what was happening this season. If we show the team, the club, the management, the Board, that we’re improving and we’re playing for Europe and that is good for the ambition of the players.”