Romelu Lukaku has praised manager Ronald Koeman for helping him improve his game at Everton this season.
Lukaku hit four goals against Bournemouth on Saturday to lift him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts.
The 23-year-old is now just one goal away from equalling Duncan Ferguson’s Everton Premier League scoring record of 60 goals, though the Belgian has played considerably fewer games than the Scot did.
Lukaku is also well set to beat his previous record of 18 league goals from last season and is the first Everton player to score 16 or more goals in three successive seasons since Joe Royle in the mid 1960s.
The former Chelsea striker says a pre-season chat with Koeman upon the Dutchman’s arrival at Goodison Park helped him to return to form.
Lukaku had failed to score in 10 games between March and the end of last season, coinciding with Everton’s collapse in form and Roberto Martinez’s ultimate dismissal.
Speculation about Lukaku’s future once again dominated the back pages over the summer and I’m fairly confident he would have left had Martinez still been in charge.
Thankfully the arrival of Koeman and the investment of Farhad Moshiri has given the club fresh impetus as well as financial clout, meaning they are under no pressure to sell anyone.
Speaking about the impact of his manager and what he has done to help his game, Lukaku said:
“Consistency. The manager now helps me with the extra details – with pressing, my running off the ball and also the mental aspect of the game.
“When he came in we had a chat. He told me his ideas, I told him mine, and then he showed me from the start of what he wanted to do.
“He wants me to be focused at any time because he knows with my finishing, if I have the ball in the last minute I can decide the game.
“I’m a guy who works really hard on the training ground and I know hard work will pay off. That’s what the manager told me at the start of the season. I believed in his football philosophy and it helped me going forward. You always have to keep your mind open to different things. I trust the process of what he wants to do at this football club. He helps me and I’m delivering in whatever situation he wants to play.”
Lukaku also admits he may have lost focus during the tail end of last season and although he doesn’t explicitly say he is willing to stay long-term, it certainly doesn’t look like he is going to actively push for a move either.
“The most important thing is to make sure the team ends the season as high as possible.
“We have to aim for the top six, we are really close, and I have to help the team. If I can play my part that’s the best thing ever.
“I’m happy with the team. We are playing well since the start of the 2017 and we need to keep improving. I’m just focused on this moment in time.
“That’s the mistake I made last year when I looked too far ahead. Now for me it’s just game after game, improve, do my job and live day by day. I know how good I can be but I’m willing to put the work in and I know I can do it.”