Opta: Lukaku vs Welbeck - who would be the better signing for Everton?

Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea

Chelsea's Belgian loan star and Manchester United's England striker may be two of the most pursued strikers in the league this summer.

With their on-loan Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku impressing with every passing game at Everton, Roberto Martinez has had to keep alternatives in mind according to the papers, with the former Anderlecht man's price in danger of skyrocketing if he enjoys a strong World Cup tournament.

This has led many to claim a move for Manchester United's Danny Welbeck is a viable consideration for the Toffee's impressive Spanish boss.

Both strikers have long been held up as two of the most promising forwards in European football, and considering United's disappointing season under David Moyes, Welbeck may be willing to move to a club currently above last year's Premier League champions.

The England man has also allegedly grown frustrated with operating from a wide position, likely exacerbated by seeing how much England teammate Daniel Sturridge has flourished since getting his own chance up top at Liverpool. Welbeck sees his future as a central striker, but he will struggle to get regular game time at United with Rooney, Van Persie and Hernandez all less capable than the United academy graduate on the wing.

Below we look at the season's statistics for the two players, bearing in mind that Lukaku has almost twice as many minutes on the pitch as Welbeck.

  TeamGoalsmins / GoalsGoal AssistOntarget Scoring AttAppsMins
Romelu Lukaku Everton 13 179.46 6 41 30 2,333
Danny Welbeck Man Utd 9 142.89 1 16 22 1,286

At first glance it is easy to dismiss Welbeck on account of the fact he has scored less goals and has fewer assists. Lukaku has been a focal point for his impressive side, and it is no surprise that he has contributed to more goals and has significantly more on target attempts, even taking into account Welbeck's lesser minutes. The one area that the United man is on top is converting his chances in his time on the field. Above you can see that Welbeck has netted every 143 minutes on the pitch compared to Lukaku's 179. That's every game and a half for Welbeck rather than every two games for the Belgian.

  TeamBig Chance Missedmins / Aerial WonWas FouledAccurate PassAppsMins
Romelu Lukaku Everton 5 27.45 11 482 30 2,333
Danny Welbeck Man Utd 4 142.89 26 393 22 1,286

Following on from that though, 23-year-old Welbeck has missed almost as many big chances in his fewer minutes as Lukaku has managed in the whole season. The Chelsea loanee is unsurprisingly way ahead of Welbeck when it comes to aerial duals won, with his power in the air being one of Lukaku's biggest assets. One department the United forward does impress in is his ability to draw fouls and take part in passing moves, already ahead of 20 year-old Lukaku when it comes to fouls against not far behind accurate passes. 

To conclude, if Everton want a dominant powerhouse of a centre forward, a beast in the air though not as agile as some centre forwards, Lukaku is their rather costly man. In Welbeck though, they have a more mobile and tricky centre forward option, who is weaker with his head but may have a point to prove after being marginalised at Old Trafford. With many of his games coming out wide, that his stats are even comparable to Lukaku is praise enough.

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