Martinez: Everton broke established rules to sign this player
By Matt Farr
Former-Everton manager Roberto Martinez has admitted the club broke established rules to sign Romelu Lukaku in 2014.
Lukaku, 23, joined the Merseyside club from Chelsea in a club-record £28million deal, and has become one of the most prolific goalscorers in the Premier League and Europe.
The Belgian international has scored 22 goals from 32 appearances in all competitions this season, but could be on his way out of the club this summer.
He has been strongly linked with a return to his former club, after refusing to sign a new deal at Goodison Park, and ex-chief Martinez believes he could be worth at least £90million.
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Speaking to FourFourTwo, Martinez admitted that it is important for Everton, should they lose Lukaku this summer, that they lose him on their own terms.
He also revealed that the club broke established rules to buy him from Chelsea, and that he was potentially worth a lot more than what they paid for him.
He said: “It’s difficult to say [if Everton can keep hold of Lukaku]. What’s important is that as a club, if you lose a player, you lose him on your own terms. Rom has doubled or trebled the initial fee that Everton paid for him.
“In my eyes, potentially, he was worth more money. We knew he’d become the player he is now.
“Ashley Williams became captain at Swansea, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry were really important to me at Everton. But Romelu was different – you were breaking all of the established rules to bring him to the club.”
The £28million fee to snap up Lukaku was much greater than any transfer Everton had completed in the past, smashing their record and ending a hesitant approach to spending in the transfer market.
Marouane Fellaini’s £18million move from Standard Liege in 2008 was their previous record deal, but the ownership of billionaire Farhad Moshiri has seen Everton flex their financial muscles more frequently of late.
Lukaku’s goalscoring form under Ronald Koeman this term comes as little surprise, having previously achieved an equally as impressive streak under Martinez’s stewardship.
The marksman netted 61 goals from 127 games under the Spaniard, including during an initial loan spell at the club from Chelsea throughout the 2013-14 Premier League campaign.
In other Everton news, Rio Ferdinand believes Lukaku could learn a lot from Tottenham sensation Harry Kane.