Everton are outside contenders for Champions League football this season.
Everton could move up to fifth place with a victory over Crystal Palace this evening, and Romelu Lukaku told Belgian media outlet Sporza that he thinks the Toffees could finish either fourth or fifth at the end of this season.
Lukaku said: “We are doing well now, but we can not peak too early, because the season is long. I think we may finish fourth or fifth. The next step for Everton is the Champions League. The players are ready, but we must realize it ourselves, of course."
Lukaku believes Everton have enough about them to qualify for the Champions League at the end of this season, although he has not admitted that is a guaranteed outcome.
A fourth place finish would be exceptional, but fifth place seems more likely, and it would give Roberto Martinez a solid base to build upon ahead of next season.
They possess one of the best up-and-coming squad in the division, and have an attack that is almost guaranteed to bring goals. However, as the Merseyside club proved against Bournemouth last week, they still have games which show a lack of steel running throughout the team.
There is a lack of consistency between performances against top teams and lesser teams, and they will always struggle to secure Champions League football until they can pick up results against sides placed anywhere in the table.
There is a space in the top four open, with Chelsea struggling this season, but Everton look to be just behind the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool in the search to qualify for the Champions League at the end of this campaign.