Everton's new Club-record signing Romelu Lukaku says he ‘belongs’ at Goodison Park.
The Belgian international completed his £28million move from Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
And at a media conference at Finch Farm, Lukaku revealed that re-signing for Everton – this time on a permanent deal – was the only option he seriously considered this summer.
“I’m very pleased – it’s a big honour to play at such a wonderful club, with the manager and the players,” declared Lukaku. “This is the place where I belong.
“I had lots of options but I wanted to stay in the Premier League and I decided very quickly that I wanted to come back here. I’m 21 years of age and this is a good step for me – I need to play at a high level and in a good team.
“It felt right and here I feel like I have the confidence of the whole technical staff and the supporters - people who will help me develop. These are all good things to become a better player.
“Last year was a very good year and I had a feeling this was the best place to grow as a young man and a footballer, so I’m very pleased to be here again and to help my teammates to reach the heights.”
Lukaku contributed 16 goals in all competitions last season as Everton achieved a fifth-place Premier League finish and a run through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The striker is full of belief that even better things can be achieved in the upcoming 12 months.
“We want to become one of the best teams in England - we want to reach the top four,” he continued. “Last season we were very close and now we want to push on again.
“Most teams know we are a good footballing side but now this is our second year [under Martinez] and the manager wants to put out a statement in this league. We, as players, do as well.”
Lukaku also reserved special praise for manager Martinez and the Everton board for working tirelessly to ensure the deal went through.
“Roberto has been very influential,” the World Cup star added. “He’s someone who knows football very well and is someone I can develop under as a player.
“He makes us better as a team and lets us play good football, which is something that I need as a young player.
"He wants to make our team one of the best in England. He challenged me personally and did good things for me. I am grateful for that."