By Dominic Toner

Ashley Williams believes that his Everton team-mate Romelu Lukaku should be regarded as a top player.

The 23-year-old striker has been in sensational form for the Toffees this season and been clinical in front of goal.

The Belgian international has scored 17 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions and has been a standout performer for Ronald Koeman’s side.

His 16 Premier League goals mean he is second in the race for the golden boot, with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (17) the only player above him.

Williams feels that Lukaku’s goal success this season means he deserves to be mentioned alongside the very top strikers.

“Rom’s up there with the best (I’ve faced),” Williams said, as quoted by the club’s official website. “He’s a tough opponent and it’s nice that I’m on the same team as him now.

“He’s playing so well and is up there with the most goals at this point in the season. He’s definitely in the conversation to be had (about) the best.”

Lukaku has emerged as a crucial player at Goodison Park since his arrival from Chelsea and has continued to develop into a more all-rounded striker.

The forward has now made 153 appearances for the Merseyside club and have scored 78 goals in return.

He is well recognised for being strong in the air and is also a calm figure in front of goal.

Lukaku’s standout match this season came in the recent 6-3 victory over Bournemouth when he scored four goals.

He will be hoping to continue his form until the end of the season for seventh-placed Everton, who host Sunderland on Saturday in their next game.

In other Everton news, Ross Barkley has delivered his verdict on the club’s January signing.

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