By Alex Stevens
Romelu Lukaku did not play for Everton against Tottenham on Saturday because he has not recovered from a heel injury sustained in pre-season.
The striker has been the subject of sustained interest from Chelsea during the summer window, with the Londoners reportedly tabling a staggering bid of £65million.
Lukaku was a notable absentee from the Everton team sheet on Saturday amid speculation that he missed the match because he is heading to Chelsea.
Lukaku watched the 1-1 draw against Spurs from the stands alongside new Goodison signing Ashley Williams.
But Everton manager Ronald Koeman claimed after the match that the Belgium international was not fit to play, which was later corroborated by Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur.
Journalist Terreur, who works for Belgium newspaper HLN, reported on his personal Twitter account that Lukaku had not recovered from a heel injury sustained in Everton’s 1-1 pre-season defeat to Espanyol seven days earlier, and this was the “only reason why he didn’t play today”.
The cut in Romelu Lukaku’s heel hasn’t healed completely. It got stitched up after Espanyol. Only reason why he didn’t play today. #EFC
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) August 13, 2016
Koeman is confident that Lukaku will be available for Everton’s Premier League trip to West Brom next Saturday.
“He was already a doubt for today, but we had good hope that he was going to start,” said Koeman after Saturday’s match, as quoted by football site Teamtalk. “He will be ready for next week.
“The player likes to play and if he is okay, he will start.”
In other Everton team news, this manager has revealed that the club are waiting on the green light for three new signings.