There will be no shortage of suitors squabbling over Romelu Lukaku’s signature in the summer.
Since the Belgian talisman announced that he would not be signing a new contract at Everton, as reported by The Guardian, barely a day has gone by without speculation suggesting that he could return to Chelsea, replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United or spearhead the respective attacks of PSG or Juventus.
However, despite taking his tally to a career best 21 in 28 games with a clinical double in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Hull City, the nature of the opposition only reinforces one remaining criticism that Lukaku is yet to dispel. Is the Belgian a flat-track bully?
The 23-year-old may have netted nine in his last six games, a remarkable record, but the fact that such a prolific purple patch has come against Bournemouth, West Brom, Hull, Sunderland and a Tottenham side with victory in the bag raises one or two questions.
Especially when you consider the fact that, in 30 games against the ‘big six’ of Spurs, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, Lukaku has scored just three times since arriving at Goodison Park.
Though that may not be a criticism you could level at his potential replacement. Tuttomercatoweb report that 21-year-old Giovanni Simeone, a forward enjoying his breakthrough Serie A season with Genoa, is on the club’s radar.
In his debut campaign, Simeone has netted ten goals, finding the net once every two league starts on average.
And, like his father Diego, the inspirational Atletico Madrid deity, Giovanni appears to have picked up the habit of rising to the occasion.
In fact, four of his ten Serie A goals came against two of the league’s strongest sides. He hit two in a 3-3 draw with Fiorentina two months after inspiring Genoa’s historic 3-1 triumph over champions Juventus. Simeone junior netted a brilliant brace.
While Lukaku is almost untouchable in European football right now, Simeone has already demonstrated a big game mentality. That is one aspect of his game that Lukaku is yet to prove.