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20th Dec, 2016 | 11:28am

23-year-old stays put: Three best moments of 2016 for Everton

By Emma Sanders

Everton has endured a tough year in 2016 but Football Insider chooses three moments which were the best for the Toffees.

Romelu Lukaku remained at the club

Everton’s star player was expected to leave in the summer after a disappointing campaign for the Blues. The 23-year-old is clearly good enough to compete in the Champions League and he was linked with a number of top clubs, including Juventus. However, he was persuaded to stay by Ronald Koeman and he has since proven his worth, scoring nine goals in his first 16 Premier League appearances this season.

Ronald Koeman’s appointment

Roberto Martinez’ sacking was a low point for the Blues in the summer but the club quickly secured the services of one of the best managers in the league. Koeman had shown his ruthless attitude and decisive tactical nerve during his spell at Southampton and the Dutchman immediately made an impact, persuading Lukaku to stay. Results have not been great since then though and Monday evening’s Merseyside derby defeat was another blow for the Toffees.

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FA Cup quarter-final victory against Everton

Everton did well in the domestic cup competitions last season and reached the FA Cup semi-final when they recorded a thrilling 2-0 victory against Chelsea in the quarter-final. It was a rare moment of celebration for the Goodison Park faithful and Everton’s FA Cup run perhaps gave Martinez an extended run in the job. They secured a place at Wembley but went on to lose 2-1 against Manchester United after Anthony Martial scored a late stoppage time winner.

In other Everton news, this is why Lukaku was the club’s best young player in 2016.