Pat Nevin says Romelu Lukaku’s work rate is behind Everton’s improvement

Everton striker Lukaku has been in excellent form this season.

Lukaku has scored 13 goals in 18 games across all competitions this season, and Pat Nevin told BBC 5 Live Football Daily that Everton have been able to play a better style of football due to the improved work rate shown by the 22-year-old forward.

He said: “I’m not convinced he [Martinez] could have altered the way of playing to be more direct unless they had Lukaku working harder. Now that he is working harder, they are allowed to do that. He gives them that option; they can go longer to him, but as he is also willing to run beyond, it gives space to the three behind him. It’s working really well."

If there has been one criticism about Lukaku in his early career, it has been about his work rate and lack of willingness to fight for his teammates and aid them as a unit.

This has been easy to overlook, as he is a fantastic goalscorer, but there was always a sense that the youngster would never reach his potential until he could start playing well as part of a team.

This season has seen a change in Lukaku, and he now looks like the complete forward. His goalscoring has remained exceptional, but his team play and work rate is far better than ever seen before, and his Everton teammates are benefitting.

Nevin believes that this improved Lukaku has allowed the Toffees to play different styles of football if needed, with the ability to go route one knowing he will chase the ball down, or simply leave the forward to create space in the final third for Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley to score from.

Everton have been overlooked as potential top four contenders, but they sit just six points behind Arsenal in fourth place, and if they continue playing as they have been in recent weeks, the Toffees could realistically get back into the Champions League ate the end of this season.

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