Everton’s protracted chase of Romelu Lukaku has concluded in the capture of the Belgian bulldozer.
The Toffees broke their transfer record in order to snare the 21-year-old from Chelsea, parting with anything between £20 and £30m depending on your favoured news source.
Lukaku scored 15 goals while on loan at Goodison Park last term and assisted a further five as the correlation between his involvement and their success quickly became evident.
He was present in all bar three of their 21 Premier League victories last term and, if the club are serious about mounting an assault on the top four again in 2014/15 – a feat they’re priced at 13/2 to achieve – they’ll certainly be better off with him than without.
Those who think the former Anderlecht prodigy will savour another goal-laden campaign can back him to score over 16 goals at 17/20 with bwin.
The stats dictate that any such punt is likely to end in disaster, however, with the smart money going on the same price about him having a sub-16-goal season on Merseyside.
Read on for the three reasons why this is so:
Only once in his career has Lukaku scored more than 16 goals.
This was on loan at West Brom in 2012/13 and he only got over this mark on account of a hat-trick on the final day in a 5-5 dead-rubber goal frenzy with Manchester United.
Three of his four 30-plus appearance seasons have failed to see him hit the target in question.
Everton aren’t the most free-scoring of sides.
While their attacking verve has noticeably risen in the Roberto Martinez reign, only Tottenham scored fewer than the Toffees’ 61 of last season’s top-seven sides.
Their success is borne out of defensive solidity and it’s hard to envisage Lukaku being furnished with the opportunities to fill his boots sufficiently.
He’s also likely to have a partner to share the goal-getting burden next term.
Martinez remains in the market for another striker, with a second loan-deal for Lacina Traore one of many moves reportedly being bounced around the think tank.