The latest instalment of news.bwin.com/en/’s ‘Premier League top-goalscorer candidates assessed’ alights on Stanley Park’s westerly edge to ponder the potential prolificacy of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
As we hurtle towards the dawn of the new campaign the Belgian bulldozer shares 20/1 eighth-favourite status with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy, currently a Queens Park Ranger.
Here’s how he rates on our four pillars of hypothetical scoring ability:
Premier League pedigree: Having operated at around about a goal every other game across the last two seasons at West Bromwich Albion and Everton the Belgian’s English top-flight credentials are granite-hewn.
The question is, in his second season at Goodison Park, will he continue to improve as a striker, having notched less goals last term than he did the season before while playing for a better side?
Roberto Martinez certainly thinks so, telling the BBC “we know that Romelu is still a young man and the potential that he has is quite unique” in the wake of the deal that brought him to Merseyside.
Squad competition: With Arouna Kone yet to feature in any of Everton’s pre-season friendlies as he returns to fitness, Lukaku backers can consider their wager entitled to at least the 29 starts he availed himself of last term.
Team creativity: Only two Everton men featured among the 38 players to assist five or more goals last term and one of them was Lukaku himself.
However, it’s worth remembering that the Toffees were still the division’s sixth highest scorers, notching just seven times less than Arsenal.
Fitness reliability: The hulking 21-year-old is as tough as he looks; missing a mere five games last term in the wake of suffering a torn ankle ligament.
According to transfermarkt.com that’s the sole spell he has spent in unselectability since his arrival in England from Anderlecht as a teenager.