Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Lukaku eager to prove worth

Romelu Lukaku is looking to prove a point at Goodison this season

Everton's new on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku is determined that he will not go down as a one-season wonder in English football.

Lukaku emerged as a real force in the Barclays Premier League last term, scoring 17 goals while on loan at West Brom from Chelsea for the campaign.

The 20-year-old Belgium international joined the Toffees in a similar deal on transfer deadline day earlier this month and is looking to make a major impact once again in 2013-14.

"You always need confirmation after a good year," Lukaku said.

"After only one good year, if you then have a down year the next year, people never take you seriously.

"I want to become a better player - a much better player, not just the same player as people know from last year.

"I hope that at the end of this season people say, 'Romelu Lukaku is one of the best in this league'."

It had been widely expected Lukaku would feature prominently this season for Chelsea, whom he signed for from Anderlecht in August 2011.

But Lukaku says conversations he had with the London outfit's manager Jose Mourinho about his first-team prospects helped convince him he would be best off going out on loan again.

And asked if he felt he had a point to prove, Lukaku said: "Yes, because I think after last year, I deserve a chance - like I did the year before, before I went to West Brom.

"I thought I deserved that chance, I went to West Brom on loan and did well.

"This year, I have a point to prove first to myself, that I can do it again, and then to Chelsea, to show that I can be number one over there as well.

"I had a few talks with the manager (Mourinho) about playing regularly and the importance of it, because I couldn't afford another season on the bench or maybe playing one time out of three, at my age and especially with the World Cup coming up.

"So I spoke with him a few times to see his vision and at a certain point I thought going on loan again was the best thing to do.

"It was my choice. I want to play as much as possible.

"I don't want people to just remember the Romelu Lukaku of West Brom and for me to be in the background again."

Asked if he still saw a future for himself at Chelsea, Lukaku said: "I don't know.

"I think if I can do similar to last year, but for a club like Everton and with better statistics, why not? But we'll see at the end of the season.

"It was always my main ambition to go back to Chelsea, but the end of the season is when you can have a balanced view of how things have gone and make a final decision."

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