Everton manager Ronald Koeman says that Romelu Lukaku might have to leave the club in order to fulfill his potential, and that he has the capability to play for a team like Barcelona.
Koeman is unsure if Lukaku, 23, will remain at the club after next summer, as he was convinced to stay on for another season after initially handing in a transfer request. Koeman compared Lukaku to former Barcelona and Holland striker Patrick Kluivert and said that the Belgian international could end up playing for Barcelona one day.
“I gave him confidence and he has himself recognized that it was good for his development to play another year at Everton,” Koeman said.
“There is a very good contact and appreciation between us. What after this season comes, no one knows.
“If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career, I know he has left something (behind). His potential is greater and higher than Everton, as a final destination.
“Patrick Kluivert was also a striker who was quite young in the picture and had a fantastic career. Eventually Kluivert played for Barcelona, which could happen with Lukaku.
“He is potentially a great striker, one who is only 23 years old. I think Lukaku is quite complete. He can hold a ball and be a target man and, because he is tall and physically strong. You can play directly with the long ball.”
Lukaku has scored seven goals in nine Premier League matches this season. He’s part of the Belgian squad that will take on Estonia in the World Cup qualifiers on Friday.