Joe Royle has hailed Romelu Lukaku as an ‘all-round goalscorer’ who can go on to win the Premier League’s golden boot this season.
Lukaku’s four-goal salvo in the 6-3 win over Bournemouth at the weekend took the Belgium international to the top of the Premier League’s goalscoring charts.
The 23-year-old forward now has 17 goals for the Blues in all competitions this term, and is the first Everton striker to score 16 or more in four consecutive seasons since Royle achieved the feat between 1967 and 1971.
But Royle says there’s still plenty more to come from the Blues’ current number 10, predicting he could end up with 25 goals or more by the end of the season.
The former Blues boss said: “Twenty five is certainly a realistic target. If he could get into the early 20s then that would be a great haul for him, and 25 would be absolutely fantastic!
“If Rom did that then that would give him a great chance of winning the golden boot.
“And you only have to look at his face every time he scores a goal to know what that would mean to him.”
Lukaku’s matchwinning haul at the weekend means he remains on course to top the 25 goals he scored for Everton in all competitions last season.
Royle says that would be a fitting reward for the striker after his all-round game has gone up another level since the arrival of manager Ronald Koeman last summer.
“Rom has always been a goalscorer and that’s a rare commodity,” said the man who led the Toffees to FA Cup glory in 1995.
“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.”