The fee is rumored to be in the region of £75 million plus add-ons, and boosts Everton’s war chest in the transfer market to even greater heights. The number is also the highest-ever received for an outbound player, surpassing John Stones’ move to Manchester City.
Lukaku departs the club as its all-time leading scorer in the Premier League with 68 goals. In total, the Belgian bagged a preposterous 87 goals and 29 assists in 166 appearances across all competitions.
Speaking to United’s official website, Lukaku’s new manager Jose Mourinho had this to say:
Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.
Everton will now look to get a complement to Sandro Ramirez in the door at USM Finch Farm. Olivier Giroud is the most likely candidate, but there are others available, too, and the Toffees have not been shy about doing what it takes to get their man.
Of course, no one player will be able to replace the contributions of Romelu Lukaku. However, Everton are on their way to big things, and that remains true even with Rom plying his trade on the red side of Manchester.
Speaking about his time at Everton as well as his new club, the Belgian said:
I would like to start by thanking Everton and the fans for the last four wonderful seasons, I have made some special friends and we have shared some amazing moments. However, when Manchester United and Jose Mourinho come knocking at the door it is an opportunity of a lifetime and one that I could not turn down. You could see the fight, determination and the spirit in this team during the Europa League final and I want to become a part of that. I cannot wait to run out at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 fans but before that pre-season is where the hard work starts and I am looking forward to that first training session.
Lukaku will score buckets of goals for United, both in the Premier League and Champions League, participation in which is a big reason the Belgian was keen on leaving Everton in the first place.
He re-joins manager Jose Mourinho, who oversaw his departure from Chelsea to Everton. The relationship between player and manager may be something to watch going forward, as Mourinho barely gave Lukaku a chance at Chelsea before deciding he was surplus to requirements.
On Merseyside though, the Toffees will have big shoes to fill at the front of the line, in terms of goals, playmaking, and raw number of minutes played. The Belgian, for all the drama surrounding his departure, leaves the club as an inarguable hero. His play brought the Toffees to the Europa League twice, played a role in attracting Farhad Moshiri (and his money) to Everton, and meant Everton always knew who would be leading the line.
Thanks for the goals, the excitement, and the memories, Rom — be nice to your old club when next you meet them!