Martinez springs surprise as Lukaku must wait for his Everton debut

Romelu Lukaku

As Everton prepare to face West Ham this afternoon, they do so with Romelu Lukaku starting on the bench.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has surprised many with his team selection for this afternoon’s match against West Ham United.

Now in temporary possession of one of the Premier League’s most dangerous strikers, the Spaniard has opted to keep Romelu Lukaku on the bench, with Nikica Jelavic leading the line from the kick-off.

Martinez has already spoken of his hope that the Chelsea striker’s arrival at Goodison Park can help the once-prolific Croatian rediscover his form. And for now it appears he is hoping the threat of replacing him from the bench is the spur Jelavic needs.

Last season, while Lukaku was knocking in 17 league goals for West Bromwich Albion, Jelavic managed just seven for the Toffees, two less than he scored in just 13 appearances after his January move from Rangers in 2012.

If Lukaku can maintain his current trajectory, and Jelavic can rediscover the form that he showed in those first few months on Merseyside, Everton could have one of the most devastating front pairings in the league.

But for now, it is up to Jelavic to get the goals against the Hammers, although Lukaku will surely only be shackled for so long…

image: © wshjackson

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