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Lukaku talks about his Everton future

Striker turned down Juventus to stay on Merseyside

Belgium v Republic of Ireland - Group E: UEFA Euro 2016
Romelu Lukaku
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and Romelu Lukaku speaking to the media about his future during an international break.

This is something as Everton fans we have become well used to and his oft-controversial statements barely register on Toffee fans’ panic-meters anymore.

During this current round of international fixtures, Lukaku chose to speak about why he stayed with the Blues during the just-concluded trasnfer window, the experience of being coached by former Premier League star striker Thierry Henry with Belgium and also whether he would sign a new deal at Goodison Park or not.

Speaking with Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad, he said -

“It stings a little [not being in European competition], but I'm someone who believes that everything happens for a reason.

“Otherwise I would have gone to Juventus instead of staying at Everton. But I opted for Everton because it was too early for Italy and I have not done badly here.

“Now we have a new coach and it is completely different than with Mr [Roberto] Martinez, but I think we can make progress under Ronald Koeman. It may be the last step and then look further.

“I knew of the interest of a few clubs, it was quickly very clear that Everton would not let me go. It was important to me that I remained calm, and I did. I said to myself that I will do my best and who knows what will happen in the future.”

On the subject of a new deal -

"You'll have to ask Mino (Raiola, his agent).

"I tell Mino how I think about it, and eventually we have to make a decision that is best for me. For me football is not about the money.

"I want to win prizes. But when I get into a situation where I can leave but my team will not let me, I'm not one to go absent, get fined and cultivate a negative reputation.

"I try to remain calm and treat my club with respect. Hopefully they can treat me also with respect and I can leave through the main gate.

"I will not quarrel with Everton."

He also raised some interesting light on new Belgium manager Roberto Martinez’s time at Everton -

"In the three years we have worked together, Ross Barkley and I were the ones with whom he worked most of the training.

"He asked us to stay longer because he believed in our potential. Not that we are already there or anything, but he knows perfectly where I can improve and he will also say.

"He is very direct with other players. Everything is very clear and everyone knows what to do on the pitch. I think that's positive for the rest of the team."

When asked about the differences between Martinez as club manager and as national team coach, he made a not-so-subtle dig at the Blues’ squad deficiencies last season -

"Here he has a choice of top players. In central defence he has Jan (Vertonghen), Toby (Alderweireld), Thomas (Vermaelen), Vincent (Kompany) and others I forget.

"Ditto in midfield and up front. He knows that if you do not do well, he still has someone else. You can see that the level goes straight up, because he is not afraid to take a player from the team.

"He is offensive, but that does not mean he gives you complete freedom.

"He gives clear guidelines that you have to walk. Not like Marc Wilmots, which you could do in the last thirty meters what you wanted.

"Now we have certain tasks that we have to do in the last thirty meters to break through the defense. It takes a lot of time and energy to understand what the coach wants."

He also talked about the experience of working with former France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, who he calls ‘Monsieur Henry’ -

"It's a mark of respect. He's really with us and isn't distant. Sometimes he comes to drink tea or play PlayStation with us.

"He asks a lot, but that's what we need. He's good at communicating and makes himself heard.

"Concentration and effort are his staples. It's a plus to have him with us. I can assure you we listen when he speaks."

He finished off by remarking that he was very close to full fitness after incurring a heel injury in the pre-season -

"Another two weeks I think. I had a longer break than the rest. When I returned I immediately joined with all the rest of the squad but during a friendly match against Espanyol a player landed with his studs right in my Achilles tendon.

"I had a deep wound, there are six or seven stitches. I could do nothing. I came back and could not play right away and that was not the best for me. I have to bite my lip for another two weeks. It will be fine.

"I feel good, but I miss some sharpness. I do not burn like in my second year at Everton. Then I had to wait three or four months before I got to the right level. I do not want it to happen again."