Britain Soccer Football - Leicester City v Everton - Premier League - King Power Stadium - 16/17 - 26/12/16 Everton's Romelu Lukaku in action with Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel Reuters / Darren Staples EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

By Harvey Byrne

Former Everton boss Joe Royle believes that current star Romelu Lukaku will only get better with his “more mature years” still ahead of him.

The 23-year-old has been in stunning form for the Toffees since joining from Chelsea in an initial loan deal in the summer of 2013.

The striker has 78 goals from 152 encounters during his time at the club, which includes an emphatic four goals in his most recent appearance against Bournemouth.

It is a good time for the club as they seemingly have a number of up and coming stars, including Ademola Lookman, Tom Davies and Mason Holgate.

But, it was the now established Lukaku who received the praise of Royle, stating the Merseyside club have a “real gem.”

“Rom has always been a goalscorer and that’s a rare commodity,” told Royle to the official Everton website.

“The hardest thing to do in football is stick the ball in the net and that’s why strikers command such big fees. It’s not just the amount of goals Rom scores, it’s the quality of them, too.

“He’s not just a goalscorer who scores goals in the six-yard box – and believe me there is nothing wrong with doing just that.

“One of my great sayings to players when I’ve been working with them is ‘get in the box’ and Rom does that but he also scores goals from outside the box.

“He scores headers, he scores near-post goals, he scores far-post goals, and goals from outside the box, so he’s an all-round goalscorer.

“It’s remarkable to think he’s still only 23 years old and, with what you would say are his more mature years ahead of him, he’s only going to get better.

“We’ve got a real gem on our hands and we are lucky to have him in our team.”

Lukaku’s goals this season have seen Everton nestle in seventh place in the Premier League table after 24 games.

They are currently four points in front of eighth placed West Brom and five behind Manchester United in fifth.

The Belgian has just two years left on his current contract and fans will be hoping he extends it further as the Toffees look to make a return to European football under Ronald Koeman.

In other Everton news, the Toffees are in a battle with Tottenham for this wonderkid.

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