By Alex Stevens
Romelu Lukaku has delivered a remarkable put-down of Harry Kane by insisting to the Mail that the Tottenham striker can’t teach him a thing.
The Everton spearhead rattled off the names of Europe’s elite strikers who he regards as inspirations but claimed Kane is not in that bracket.
Lukaku aimed the dig at the Spurs talisman and his rival to win the Golden Boot, with the pair neck-and-neck at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 19 goals this season.
It places the 23-year-old duo ahead of the more experienced quartet of Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez (17), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (15) and Jermain Defoe (14).
Kane suffered ankle ligament damage last weekend that Tottenham expect to sideline him until mid-April, which makes the Everton man the favourite to land the coveted top scorer gong.
“‘I’m sad he is injured,” Lukaku told the Mail. “Everyone wants to see top players in the league and it’s sad for Tottenham and him. I hope he gets better and becomes stronger than he is now. He is a good player.”
However, the Belgian, who is a student of the art of striking, claimed there is nothing he can learn from the prolific Spurs man.
“I don’t look at other players if they aren’t going to teach me anything,” Lukaku explained. “If I have the feeling you aren’t going to teach me something, why should I look at you? That’s the thing I have. I’m focused on Everton and what I am doing.”
Asked to name the players he studies, the Everton ace replied: “[Luis] Suarez, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Karim] Benzema, [Edinson] Cavani. I’m not looking at the rest. No chance. I watch what they do in certain moments and I think ‘that’s interesting’. How close am I to them? I’m close. I’m one of the best strikers in the Premier League, 100 per cent.”
Lukaku met with Everton officials on Tuesday and told them he did not want to sign a new contract.
The Belgium international wants to keep his options open rather than sign an extension to his current agreement, which runs until the summer of 2019.
The prolific Lukaku has struck 20 goals in 29 matches in all competitions this season to lift his total tally for Everton to 81 in 156 appearances.
The 23-year-old striker has made no secret of his ambition to play in the Champions League and it now appears he wants to see what interest there is from leading clubs in the summer window.
In other Everton news, there is friction at the club between manager Ronald Koeman and director of football Steve Walsh.