Romelu Lukaku has revealed how Duncan Ferguson is teaching him to become a classic Everton FC centre forward.
The Blues striker has been having extra coaching sessions with Goodison icon Ferguson three times a week, as he bids to hit top form following his £28m move in the summer.
Lukaku, 21, is eager to learn from the impressive array of striking talent at Finch Farm, including older team-mates Samuel Eto’o and Steven Naismith, but he admits he is privileged to have the insight of a man worshipped by Blues fans.
He said: “I can learn a lot from Duncan about holding up the ball. Even sometimes in training he’ll stop and show me something. The way he holds up the ball is so impressive.
“Also the way he finishes from crosses as well with his head. It’s all impressive.
“I work with Duncan and (assistant manager) Graeme Jones all the time. I go with them after training on Tuesday, Wednesday and sometimes Thursday or Friday. At least three times a week.”
Lukaku explained how he quickly learned of Ferguson’s reputation upon initially signing for Everton on loan last season, even if he grew up watching more recent Gwladys Street heroes from afar.
“I was too young to watch Duncan much when he was playing,” he says. “Most of the time when I watched Everton as a kid it was Wayne Rooney. I remember him scoring the goal against Arsenal. My brother was an Arsenal fan so I was happy because I supported Chelsea.
“But I knew Duncan was a big figure for the club and I looked up some videos when I first came here. It’s then I saw the important goals he scored and how much he meant to the fans.”
Roberto Martinez started without his record signing against Swansea City on Saturday, bringing him on in the 68th minute in an attempt to change the course of what became a frustrating stalemate.
The previous weekend Lukaku had started against Burnley in an ultra-attacking line-up which also accommodated Naismith and Eto’o.
“It was good,” said the former Chelsea forward. “For me it was nice to play with them both in the same side. I have to look at it that it doesn’t matter who else is on the pitch though.
“I have to make it as difficult as possible for the manager to make choices at the weekend. When you’re not in the team, you need to react when you come onto the pitch. Do whatever it takes to get back into the side,
“But I enjoyed playing with them at Burnley and I hope there can be more occasions.”
Lukaku is currently level with Naismith on four goals, making them the club’s joint top scorers in the league after 10 games.
And he is also relishing the chance to absorb some of Naismith’s impressive traits.
“There are different types of strikers,” added Lukaku. “Naisy is a poacher. Sometimes in training a ball that falls into the area and he’s always there.
“Every time somebody shoots at the keeper he’s always following it up. He can get the ball out of his feet quickly and shoot and he usually scores. He has a lot of qualities and I’m happy for him. He worked hard and when we need goals he can deliver.”