By Matt Jones
Everton forward Romelu Lukaku has questioned the club’s ambition and recruitment strategy in a candid interview.
Shock reports emerged on Tuesday that the Belgium international had decided not to sign a new contract with the Toffees despite claims from his agent Mino Raiola that an extension was “99.9 per cent” done.
Speaking at an event for Kick It Out (h/t the Liverpool Echo), Lukaku outlined his frustration at the club failing to push on:
“You have to have the attitude, you have to. Everton as a football club has a great history right. But the future has to be written. You get me?
“Because we always talk about the teams of the 80s and 60s and if you look it was great. But we as players we want the fans talking about us instead of us talking about them. No disrespect but you know what I mean.
“You want to be remembered as well. No matter where you play you want to be remembered.
“You cannot only be remembered by scoring goals, you want to be remembered by winning trophies at the end of the day.
“So instead of living in the past, you have to think ahead. How this club has to grow, how this club has to improve, which player does it want to bring in so you can challenge for the big trophies.”
Lukaku also revealed his annoyance that the club has struggled to acquire transfer targets, some of which are currently plying their trade in the Premier League:
“Sometimes I will speak to Vincent Kompany who was at City when it all happened. He said, ‘Rom, one summer I just came in and boom, boom, boom, boom… Robinho from there, that guy came in, this guy came in, this guy came in (clicking fingers) and then everyone was criticising them but at the end they won league titles, FA Cup here, League Cups there.
“That is what we want as players.
“I don’t know, I don’t know what the board’s plan is. I don’t really know.
“Obviously stuff is changing and stuff is happening, but like I said there were some players that we could have got. That I knew the club could have got and they didn’t get. And they are playing in this league.
“I am not saying names, but they are doing well.”
The Everton No. 10 also said he could “definitely” become the best striker in the world although added “you need the platform to show yourself.”
Lukaku is enjoying a tremendous Premier League campaign, scoring 19 goals to put him in the lead for the Golden Boot alongside Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.
The 23-year-old’s strike at White Hart Lane in the 3-2 defeat was the 61st in league matches for Everton, making him the club’s highest goalscorer of the Premier League era ahead of Duncan Ferguson.
Lukaku has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football in the past, taking to social media last month to state the competition “is where reputations are [built].”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman will have his say on the matter on Thursday when he addresses the media in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Hull City.
We discussed Lukaku’s situation on this week’s show.