Modern football is increasingly, if not already all about player power, so in that sense it’s not surprising that Everton are leaving the final decision about his own future in Romelu Lukaku’s hands. But given our dealings with the Toffees in recent years, especially during the “Money Can’t Buy Us Stones” saga of 2014, Everton’s apparently willingness to leave the decision in Lukaku’s hands is a novel development.
“Romelu Lukaku is one of the best strikers in the world. Everybody knows he is a key player for Everton and we will try to do everything to keep Rom here at Everton but the final decision is always with the player.”
"Of course he has two more years' contract but everybody in football has his own ambition in football. We will try to do everything to keep him.”
-Romelu Lukaku; source: BBC via FourFourTwo
Lukaku’s future isn’t the only major concern on Koeman’s mind with Ross Barkley about to enter the final season of his contract. Both players are key to Everton’s growing ambitions of rising to the next level and competing with the current top six for Champions League spots in the future.
“We try to do everything to gather a really strong team to get really competitive with the big six teams in the Premier League. What we have shown until now in our first season is the first step and that will continue for the next season. They will have a picture of that belief and the direction we will go in — that is very clear to everybody.”
-Romelu Lukaku; source: Sky via FourFourTwo
As Koeman works to convince Lukaku of the Everton project, Chelsea’s intentions are perhaps muddied a bit by Diego Costa’s situation, which, while seemingly trending in the direction of an exit, does not yet have a definitive solution one way or another.
With the season slowly winding down (just about a month and a half left) and everyone involved well aware of the benefits of getting business done early in the transfer window, it will soon be time to make some decisions.