Belgium international forward Romelu Lukaku has been a force for Everton over the past few seasons.
The 23-year old is in his fourth full season with the Toffees, having spent a year on loan before his transfer from Chelsea in the summer of 2014.
Lukaku possesses incredible size, skill and strength on the pitch. Sunderland and manager David Moyes found this out the hard way this past Monday evening, as the striker picked up a hat-trick in an impressive overall performance.
What makes Lukaku’s play all the more exciting for Everton supporters is that he still can evolve and improve in the future.
We look at reasons why Romelu Lukaku will only get better in the coming years at Goodison Park.
SIZE AND SKILL
Well over six feet tall and a physical presence in the opposing team’s half, Lukaku’s attributes fit what so many clubs would like to have in their centre-forward.
His size and strength often give him a major advantage over a backline struggling to keep up with him.
Lukaku has shown consistency and growth in his time with Everton also. He has scored 16 or more goals across all competitions in each of the past three seasons, with numbers improving each term.
His 25 goals in 2015-16 were impressive for a squad that struggled mightily during most of the Premier League campaign.
What makes the former Anderlecht star truly special is his skill on the ball and ability to take on defenders. These are qualities often seen in many midfielders, but not always in a forward.
Lukaku’s late goal against Chelsea in last year’s FA Cup was a perfect example and one of the highlights of the year.
A prolific forward needs a strong midfield and talented teammates around him to flourish, and Lukaku certainly has both at Everton.
Despite a disappointing season last year, the squad and new manager Ronald Koeman have excellent talent at their disposal.
Gareth Barry, Tom Cleverley, Ross Barkley and the addition of Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace make the team around Lukaku a solid combination for success.
In a twist of irony, former Everton manager Roberto Martinez is now in charge of the Belgian national team.
Lukaku and his former club manager will continue to work together, and sharing the training pitch with national teammates and Premier League stars like Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will only see the big man improve his overall game.
Lukaku’s fitness and recent injury record have been outstanding, as he has made over 30 Premier League appearances in each of the last four campaigns.
He missed only one match for the Toffees in 2015-16 and works hard to keep himself in optimal shape.
Everton will need Lukaku healthy and starting in order to improve upon last season’s 11th place finish in the Premier League table.
In order to do so, they will lean on their powerful striker as he continues to improve year after year.