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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League


Roberto Martinez says he wasn’t surprised to see Romelu Lukaku fire Belgium to the World Cup finals on Friday evening.

The 20-year-old has already scored four times for Everton since joining on-loan from Chelsea last month.

He took that marvellous form onto the international stage by grabbing both goals in Belgium's 2-1 win over Croatia – a victory which rubber-stamped his nation’s place at next summer’s spectacle in Brazil.

Martinez, who telephoned Lukaku afterwards to congratulate him on his achievements, now has no doubts the frontman will continue his hot-streak once he returns to Merseyside following a final qualifier against Wales on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it was a surprise for any Evertonian or anyone who has seen Romelu play in the last few games,” Martinez told evertontv.

“He’s been very consistent, has maintained an important level with us and he brought that into the Belgium game. He is a very confident footballer and he can have that sort of impact in any game he plays.

“I don’t think he is a player who relies too much on good moments of form. He is a player who looks after himself in a pristine manner and that means he is always ready for whatever happens on the pitch.

“I think we are going to have Romelu Lukaku very incisive and very effective for the rest of the season.”

Lukaku took his international goals total to five with his brace against Croatia.

It was also an indication for Martinez that the former Anderlecht forward is already benefitting from playing under his tuition at Everton. 

The Blues boss continued: “It is a sign of maturity and that he has been concentrating on being as fit as he can be and ready for whatever comes his way. That’s pleasing.

“We have had a few players who have gone to their national team and carried their form through and that’s important, because that just adds to a good moment of form. You don’t want to see players who don’t really enjoy what they do when they go away from our dressing room. That could be a little bit of a negative.

“It’s pleasing to see players representing their countries with the same big smile as when they represent Everton.”

It's not too late to see Everton tackle Hull City this Saturday. To buy your ticket, click here or call 0871 663 1878*.

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