Everton boss reserves special praise for record signing

Romelu Lukaku

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Romelu Lukaku was a bargain.

Former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has been singled out for praise by Roberto Martinez following his performance during Everton’s 2-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.

The Belgian international striker found himself out of favour with the Blues despite a terrific campaign on loan at Goodison Park last season and boss Jose Mourinho was keen to let him go.

With rumours circulating of a move abroad, possibly to Atletico Madrid, Everton boss Roberto Martinez ultimately convinced the Toffees’ hierarchy to break the bank for the striker as he returned to the blue half of Merseyside for a club record £28 million fee.

Despite initially drawing a blank in his first three matches, the 21-year-old took just two minutes to break the deadlock at the Hawthorns on Saturday and his overall performance persuaded his boss to label him ‘money well spent’.

"He is only a young man and I'm sure money can be spent in many ways but I didn't mind the sum because he was money well spent," he said, quoted by Eurosport Yahoo.

"When you bring a player into the club it's always a gamble but in this case it wasn't at all because we had the advantage of working with Rom over last season.”

"For us it was very important to keep him. I felt he developed a homely feeling, his relationship with the fans is quite unique and he is everything you expect in a striker. He is young, wants to win, he works extremely hard and he has everything."

Last season, Lukaku netted 15 Premier League goals in 31 appearances for the Toffees and was widely thought of as the most effective young striker in Europe’s top five leagues.

While the hefty fee paid for him may have observers looking on with interest, repeat performances over his five-year contract and beyond will certainly add weight to Martinez’s claims that he was money well spent.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch