Romelu hat-trick reminds Everton of what he's been Luk-acking

Lukaku Belgium

After struggling to adapt since signing from Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku's three-goal haul is a timely boost for Everton. Now they need more of the same.

His performance against Young Boys last night earned former Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku plenty of positive headlines – a hat-trick in Europe will do that – after a difficult stint for the Belgian.

It was a display that should consign his off-the-field slip ups to history, as he showed glimpses of the form that prompted a £28million outlay in the summer.

His dogged tenacity, and ability to physically dominate and bully an opponent, are attributes that wouldn’t have surprised onlookers.

It was his poacher’s instinct, however, that made the biggest impression, a timely reminder of his ability to find the back of the net.

Certainly, his record since becoming Everton’s club record signing has been meagre – his winner against Crystal Palace at the end of January was his first for almost two months.

And it was just the seventh league goal of Lukaku’s campaign.

But he wasn’t helped by his manager for the early part of the season. With Martinez sticking devoutly to his short-passing, sideways-moving, gently-gently approach, Lukau was often cast adrift up-top.

It took Everton veering dangerously towards the relegation zone for the Spaniard to finally change things, utilising the flanks and his ever-present target man to better effect.

The signing of Aaron Lennon in January reflects a willingness to embrace a more direct style – although Everton, in recent weeks, have been set up very much to avoid conceding, scoring just twice in their last six league games.

The Toffees’ performance in Switzerland should give Martinez hope that they can play on the front foot when Leicester visit on Saturday, with Lukaku finally playing with confidence.

They need a result at Goodison Park. Although they sit relatively pretty in 12th, five points behind Newcastle in 11th, they are the same distance away from the relegation zone.

Lukaku will be the man Martinez expects to lead them to safety.

But one night in Bern will only paper over the cracks – Lukaku has spurned more goalscoring opportunities than any of his team-mates, seven; has recorded the most unsuccessful touches, 46; and had the most shots off target, 20.

They are numbers Lukaku will hope his mid-week exploits can help to address.

Oh, and a quick tip, Romelu: while they pay your wages, Everton should definitely be referred to as “a top club”.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch