Everton’s triumph over Wolfsburg in the £28m summer transfer tussle for Romelu Lukaku was greeted with jubilation by Toffees fans.
Few Blues fans would’ve doubted the necessity of making the Belgian’s loan move from Chelsea a permanent one after his 15 goals guided the club to fifth in last season’s Premier League.
Securing Lukaku’s long-term future was deemed essential if Roberto Martinez’s side were to crack the top-four Rubik’s Cube they’ve been contorting since they last made the grade in 2004/05.
But since the Anderlecht academy graduate became a bona fide Everton player, his output has significantly lessened, with just six league goals registered thus far.
A direct consequence of his diminished threat is the Toffees’ lowly divisional standing; they’re a mere 14th at present.
These domestic toils have underlined the manifold repairs their squad requires, but their notorious lack of funds is going to prevent a decent job being carried out.
News that Wolfsburg’s affection for Lukaku still exists despite his summer rejection then, couldn’t be better timed.
Logically, the bulldozing striker’s stock should’ve shrivelled after a poor season, but such is Die Wolfe’s desperation to land him they’re willing to pay £33m, a £5m mark up on what they were prepared to shell out but a few months ago.
It’s a deal that Everton simply can’t afford not to do if they plan on building a team capable of competing in the Premier League’s upper echelons next term because, as the Manic Street Preachers once said, Lukaku alone, is not enough, not enough, not enough.
An ageing defensive department is in dire need of reupholstering, with the form of Gareth Barrys, Sylvain Distin and Tim Howard this season reaffirming the belief the trio won’t last forever.
This wouldn’t be so bad if the cover was decent, but the likes of Darron Gibson, Antolin Alcaraz and Joel Robles are insufficient understudies for a team aiming for a spot amongst the division’s biggest hitters.
A £33m transfer war chest augmenting would furnish Everton with the resources to replace at least half of these with top-level practitioners, which is why they should accept such an offer from Wolfsburg for their first-choice line-leader.
Lukaku, who has scored seven goals in six Europa League starts so far, is 2/1 to score at anytime in the Toffees Europa League last-16 second leg at Dinamo Kiev.