Everton fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief as Romelu Lukaku will be staying at Goodison Park for the immediate future but there is still ultimately the question of whether the club can match the lofty ambitions of the Belgian interational.
Manager Ronald Koeman went on record after their win away at West Brom on Saturday that Lukaku will be staying for ‘at least one more season’ and that there is also a possibility of a new contract for the Everton hitman but it doesn’t mean Everton fans can be reaching for the champagne just yet.
A new contract would protect Everton’s investment in their most precious asset and then would also allow them to cash in should Lukaku decide in 12 months time that he would like to bring his time on Merseyside to an end. It also means that this season is not only going to be incredibly important for Everton but for Lukaku also.
Everton will need to be not only competing for a European place but they will have to earn one if they are to have any chance of keeping Lukaku at the club beyond the end of this campaign, but also Lukaku is going to have to have another decent season in terms of goals if he is to still be admired by some of Europe’s top clubs.
You do also get the feeling that he is prepared to stay at Everton for at least this season due to the fact that no-one actually came in with a contract bid for the former Chelsea man, his former employers did seem to be the most interested but they seemed to have been scared off by the £75m asking price that has been quoted.
For all of Lukaku’s supposed posturing for a move away their never really was anything in the way of a real demand to leave, when you add that to the lack of any bid that matched Everton’s valuation of the player it seems apparent that Lukaku wasn’t going to be leaving Goodison this Summer
Everton managed to hold firm over the course of the summer and in doing say have managed to keep hold the man who has registered 43 Premier League goals in 104 appearances. That will have been a huge boost for Ronald Koeman as it would have been near impossible to replace him with such little time of the transfer window left.
It’s as if this arrangement is one that suits all parties. If Everton are successful thanks to Lukaku’s goals then the likelihood of him staying on further increases, if Everton underachieve but Lukaku still finds the net on a regular basis then it very much puts him in the shop window for this time next year.
So the club and player have almost got a marriage of conveience for the next 12 months, Everton fans can celebrate in the short to medium term but they may have to get ready to go through the whole scenario next Summer. But for now they won’t be worrying about that and will hope Lukaku can fire them to success over the course of the campaign.