Blues boss wants to bolster his playing staff early this summer
Roberto Martinez is prepared to play a game of patience this summer in order to add strike star Romelu Lukaku permanently to his Everton FC squad.
The Blues boss wants to bolster his playing staff early this summer.
But he is prepared to make an exception for the 20-year-old Belgian international and wait until after the World Cup to see whether Lukaku can become a permanent addition next season.
The young striker has enjoyed an excellent campaign on-loan from Chelsea at Goodison, scoring 15 goals – 14 in the Premier League.
But having spent £18m on acquiring him from Anderlecht as a teenager in 2011, Chelsea would want to recoup at least £20m should they decide to let him leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
“I don’t think that’s my worry,” shrugged Martinez. “The worry would be that if the deal was a cheap one, it would be because he has had a torrid time and hasn’t fulfilled his potential.”
And the Blues boss revealed he was prepared to wait on Lukaku’s future being decided.
“The reason Romelu came to Everton was for him to take a big role, take a lot of responsibility, to start playing 90 minutes and be a real brain in that forward line, and he has done that so we couldn’t be happier,” he added.
“The parent club, Chelsea, are delighted with his progress and the player has developed an incredible relationship with our fans.
“His memories will never evaporate, but we will see what’s next.
“We’ll see what’s the best thing for everyone. But everything will be in stages: how Chelsea are doing in their own squad and how that frees some players. It’s going to take a bit of time and I don’t think Romelu’s situation is going to be resolved before the World Cup, in truth.
“I think it will be after the World Cup.”
An impressive tournament for the striker could see his asking price soar, but Martinez smiled: “We are too close to Romelu to hope he has a poor tournament! We hope he has a really, really good World Cup . . . and then decides to come to us.”
Lukaku is one of three loan stars who have sparkled at Everton last season – alongside Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry – a free agent this summer – and Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu.
Martinez explained that he would continue to bolster his squad with players on loan.
“Remember that the three loans we have had have been very successful,” he added.
“That’s the only thing you look at when you enter into a loan relationship.
“You can see many loans around up and down the league which have not been successful.
“The only thing you want to do is sit down at the end of the season with the parent club and assess the situation – make sure they are happy with the progress of the player, happy with the memories he has and the way he has enjoyed his football, and as a club make sure we have a player who has enjoyed his stay.
“That’s what we’re going to do.
“The loan market for us is vital. I think it’s important that we bring in fresh blood for a short period of time to help the development of the squad because we have such big assets in the team. To have short term players becomes positive and beneficial.
“We are going to look into every position, depending on the players, and depending on parent clubs, but what is important is to look back and see that each of the three loan players has been a success.
“We need to make sure that every loan player who comes to Everton is, at the end of the period, a success.”
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