By Danny Wright
Andy Cole believes that Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has the potential to become the best striker in world football.
However, Cole says that the Everton star has a long way to go before he can be on the level of players like Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski – both of whom are widely considered the two best number nines in the world.
The Manchester United legend knows a thing or two about becoming a top striker after winning five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League, while scoring 121 goals in 275 total appearances in his time at Old Trafford.
When the 45-year-old was asked if Lukaku has the ability to become the best out-and-out striker in the world, he said his age is a big factor in his development.
“He’s young enough [to be the best in the world],” said Cole on BBC Sport’s Football Focus.
“He’s got a lot of work to do. When you’re talking about the best number nines in the world you look at someone like Suarez and Lewandowski – those are the levels you’ve got to get too.
“Like I said, he’s 23-years-of-age and he’s still learning the game.”
Andy Cole knows a good striker when he sees one, but how does he rate Romelu Lukaku? pic.twitter.com/idmnRi90JX
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 25, 2017
Lukaku has recently refused to sign a new contract at Goodison Park in the wake of continued interest from his former club Chelsea.
He is currently the top goalscorer in the Premier League with 21 goals in 28 appearances for Ronald Koeman’s side after hitting a brilliant patch of form that’s seen him bag nine goals in his last six outings.
After breaking through the youth ranks in Belgium with Anderlecht, Lukaku secured a move to Chelsea in 2011.
However his time at Stamford Bridge wasn’t a successful one and despite successful loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton, he made a permanent switch to Merseyside in 2014 for £28million.
In all competitions since, the 56-time Belgian international has scored 83 goals in 157 games.
In other Everton news, Football Insider has highlighed three potential signings to replace the injured Seamus Coleman.