Belgium striker believes Everton FC can benefit from his desire to become the best striker in the Premier League
Romelu Lukaku has revealed a half-hour chat with Roberto Martinez convinced him to become an Everton player.
And the Belgium striker believes the Goodison outfit can benefit from his burning desire to become the best striker in the Premier League.
Lukaku arrived on a season-long loan from the Stamford Bridge side shortly before the transfer window slammed shut earlier this month.
Having opted for another temporary move following a successful previous campaign at West Bromwich Albion, the 20-year-old could have returned to the Hawthorns or switched to one of several other suitors.
But after some persuasive words from compatriots Maoruane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas, Lukaku’s mind was made up by a conversation with his new manager.
“Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas spoke to me, but it was Roberto Martinez who convinced me,” said Lukaku.
“We spoke for half-an-hour, he explained to me how he wanted to work with me and what he wanted to improve with me.
“The things he said were things I was already thinking about myself. When you have a young manager who has the same mentality as you do, then he’s good to work with.
“The conversation with the manager was on deadline day. The choice wasn’t just Everton or West Brom, there were other clubs. There was another Premier League club and there were foreign clubs.
“But that half-hour with Roberto Martinez convinced me Everton was the right place for me.”
Lukaku featured in Chelsea’s first two Premier League games this season and also appeared in the UEFA Super Cup final, but decided on another loan move after falling down the pecking order with the arrival of Samuel Eto’o at Stamford Bridge.
And he is confident his season at Goodison can help him realise his potential with regular football.
“I always said that by 21 I wanted to be one of the best players and now I'm 20 and I think this is the year of the confirmation,” added Lukaku.
“For me to confirm that status it's better for me to go out on loan, maybe play every game or do what I did last year. I thought this club can really help me and make me into a better player.
“My main ambition is to be the best in this league. If I don't do well, it's my fault. I know what I need to do be successful.”
Lukaku, who is line for a debut at West Ham United on Saturday after being ineligible for the 1-0 win over Chelsea at the weekend, also pointed to Everton’s track record of fostering top talent.
“It’s good for me as it’s just that little step closer to the top teams,” he said. “When you do well for a team like Everton it’s easier to go into a top team and establish yourself.
“If you look at players who have come here and gone to a big club, it’s impressive. Jack Rodwell, Fellaini, Wayne Rooney, they are good players who have been here for two or three years and gone to a big team. Hopefully for me it can be the same.
“We have players like Arouna Kone and Nikica Jelavic who can teach me a lot of things, and then there are players like Leon Osman who have been here a long time.”
Martinez could have plentiful options up front with Kone expected to recover from the knee problem that sidelined him at the weekend.
However, Darron Gibson may remain absent as he strives to regain match fitness after suffering his own knee problem five weeks ago.
“Darron is progressing really well,” said Martinez. “I would say that from a medical point of view, he is very close to being fit. Now it’s the match fitness he needs to get.
“That could take a bit of time and we need to adapt to how the knee reacts to work.”