By Harvey Byrne
Romelu Lukaku has revealed the difference between playing under Ronald Koeman and former boss Roberto Martinez at Everton.
The 23-year-old Belgium international spoke to Thierry Henry ahead of the Goodison Park clash against Crystal Palace on Friday evening and was quizzed about the differences between the two bosses.
He played under Martinez for two years after joining Everton in 2013, initially on loan with the Spanish manager departing from the club in the summer.
Koeman left Southampton to take charge of the Toffees in the summer and Lukaku has spoken of the manager’s high expectations.
“With Mr Martinez I had a lot of freedom to express myself on the pitch,” said Lukaku to Henry, as quoted by the Sky Sports website. “The second year he wanted me to play more as a target man and that’s something that has never been in my game, because my pace and running in behind is my strongest point.
“But I learned it, and then the third year, for seven months I was unstoppable in the league, there was no way someone could hold me. But the last three months of the season, my level dipped and the team’s level dipped and it was sad how it ended with the former manager.
“With Mr Koeman it’s a change, it’s different. I know that if I don’t do what he wants me to on the pitch, I can go on the bench straight away. He keeps me very sharp and focused in the training sessions and throughout the games which is going to help me.”
Martinez has since become the manager of Lukaku once again, taking over the Belgium national team from Marc Wilmots in the summer.
Henry has also joined the coaching setup and Lukaku will be hoping to learn from the legendary Premier League striker.
The forward started the new campaign slowly, but with six goals in his last four appearances at club and international level, he will be hoping that a scoring run in front of goal is starting.
Lukaku will see the match against Crystal Palace as a good opportunity to continue his form, while also helping to continue Everton’s impressive start to the new season.