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

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Everton v Newcastle

Tickets are now on sale.

Romelu Lukaku says he knew from his first day at Finch Farm that Everton could compete at the top of the Premier League this term.

The Belgian joined on a season-long loan from Chelsea on transfer deadline day and has become the focal point in the Blues' free-flowing attack.

His nine league goals have helped the Club hit fourth at the midway point of the campaign and just five points lie between table-toppers Arsenal.

And while many plaudits have come the way of Roberto Martinez's side in recent months, Lukaku insists his immediate impressions of his new teammates were accurate.

The 20-year old said: “I knew from the first day I arrived on the training ground and trained with the team.

“I called my agent and dad and I said, ‘We did something very good. We did something very good here’.

“I didn’t want to say anything to the players at first, but then I said to Phil Jagielka on the bus after the West Ham game, ‘This year we will do something special because you are all special players’.

“And I said, ‘I am not saying this because I want to be friends with you guys, but I have trained with the best players in my eyes in the country at Chelsea and I’m telling you, you are not far from it’.

“Phil just laughed, but I was very serious and now we are showing a lot of great performances.”

Only Manchester City have garnered more points from games against the rest of the current top-eight so far this term and in producing victories over the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, the sky is the limit for Everton in Lukaku's eyes.

He added: “You can say we are outsiders for the title now - you don’t need to be shy about that. You have to say that when you look at our points.

“If we are more ruthless we will definitely end in the top four. Definitely. There is no doubt about it because we only have two losses and a lot of wins.

“In the games we drew we weren’t ruthless enough, so if you change that and become more ruthless it becomes more wins, less draws and you are up there.

“At the start of the season we were building. Firstly, the defence and then the midfield and now that is all set up very well and we are working on the offensive set-up. Sooner or later it will show because we have young players who learn quickly.”

And if the Blues are able to replicate their first half of the season in 2014, the giant forward believes the rest of the footballing nation will sit up and take notice.

“There is not a lot of difference [between being at Everton and Chelsea] and that is why I think I made a good choice [in coming here],” he explained. "I am still at a high level and that is good for my development as a young player.

“Everton is already a big club because of the history here but, hopefully, if we get in the top four all of England will look upon Everton that way.”

Tickets for Everton's FA Cup third round clash with QPR are now on general sale - and you can save yourself hassle by printing your ticket at home. Click here to do so or call 0871 663 1878*.

Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.

To find out more about corporate hospitality for these fixtures or to buy online, please click here.

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