Everton striker Romelu Lukaku worst player in the Premier League in this area

Linesman

The Belgian gets caught offside more than any other player in the Premier League.

Compared to last season there is no doubt that Everton have failed to reach the lofty levels they managed in Roberto Martinez's debut term in charge. The Spaniard took over from David Moyes in the summer of 2013 and had an excellent first year in charge of the Everton team, guiding them into Europe and very nearly the Champions League.

This term has been a comparative struggle, despite not much changing. The form of several players has dropped dramatically. Sylvain Distin looks a shadow of his former self, Ross Barkley has been off the boil as has captain Phil Jagielka and loanee turned permanent acquisition Gareth Barry.

In that respect, Barry is not alone. Romelu Lukaku became the club's record signing when he arrived from Chelsea in the summer, after an excellent season on loan at the club.

But his performances have been hit or miss this term and many a fan saw it coming. Lukaku was dire for most of the World Cup with Belgium, with his body language that of a petulant child fed up he was not getting his own way.

He has even come across as lazy at times and one statistic that sums up his displays is the following - most offsides in the Premier League this season.

  PositionTeamTotal OffsideAppearancesMins Played
Romelu Lukaku FW Everton 29 25 1,988
Christian Benteke FW Aston Villa 20 16 1,232
Diego Costa FW Chelsea 20 19 1,602
Robin van Persie FW Man Utd 18 23 1,903
Enner Valencia FW West Ham 17 22 1,267

That is already ten more than he was caught for in the whole of last season.

  PositionTeamTotal OffsideAppearancesMins Played
Romelu Lukaku FW Chelsea / Everton 19 33 2,602

Lukaku leads the way by a fair distance and no Everton fan will be surprised. The annoying thing is how many of these are not him genuinely trying to break the line but those that come from a half-attempt at getting back onside after a move breaks down.

He has the pace and power not to need to trouble himself with the offside trap that often anyway but once a game Everton fans will be shaking their heads in unison thinking 'that's alright Rom, you just walk back onside'.

This is the truly frustrating part about Lukaku's game. Everton fans know how good, how committed and how deadly he can be. On his day he is the hardest working striker around and will be rewarded with goals nine times out of ten.

When he can't be bothered, he is dreadful, and Everton don't have any real replacement to keep him on his toes.

Hopefully the right Lukaku will turn up for the game with Young Boys Bern in the Europa League this evening because at the moment Europe is Everton's only hope of salvaging something from a disappointing season.

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