Everton manager Roberto Martinez claims he would've paid £100 million to sign Romelu Lukaku this summer, insisting that the Merseyside club got value for money despite paying a club-record fee for the former Chelsea striker.
Goal.com carries quotes from the Toffees boss which suggest that the £28 million deal will prove to be a bargain in years to come because the Belgium international has the right personality and attitude to make it to the very top of the game.
Lukaku spent the 2013/14 campaign on loan at Goodison Park after being farmed out of Stamford Bridge by Jose Mourinho last summer. The Portuguese tactician opted instead to bring veteran striker Samuel Eto'o to west London on a year-long deal, deeming the former Anderlecht marksman surplus to requirements.
However, Chelsea's loss proved to be Everton's gain, as Lukaku netted an impressive 16 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions last term. And, when Mourinho decided to let the player leave permanently this summer, Martinez was quick to press ahead with plans to secure the 21-year-old's signature.
Value for money
"It's not about the value," he told reporters. "I would have paid £100 million for Lukaku. If I had the money, yes, why not? The figure is insignificant. It is about the character and type of player you want in the group.
"Sometimes a player at £3 million can be an expensive buy and sometimes a player at £28 million can be a very cheap buy."
Lukaku will have the chance to prove to Mourinho that he was wrong to sell him when Chelsea travel to face Everton in the Premier League on Saturday. The Blues will arrive looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2014/15 season following victories over newly promoted duo Burnley and Leicester City.
Everton v Chelsea
This weekend's clash will be a significant step up in class against last season's sixth placed side, who were minutes away from victory over Arsenal last Saturday before two late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud earned Arsene Wenger's side a 2-2 draw.
The Toffees will be looking to go one better and claim their first win of the season against Chelsea after drawing away at Leicester City in similar fashion on the opening day.
Martinez added that despite facing his old club, Lukaku will not approach the game any differently as he looks to get off the mark and rediscover his goalscoring touch, and intimated he will not be affected by the occasion.
Business as usual
"I know what you are saying. My answer is, of course, he is human and, leading up to the game, people will say 'you are facing your old team-mates and manager'. That's normal.
"But what I am saying is that his level of performance will not change from against Arsenal or Leicester.
"He is not going through the motions, he is raising his levels for every game. Every game he is fresh so I do not see any difference at all for this game."
Everton also followed up the signing of Lukaku with the free transfer capture of another former Chelsea striker Eto'o, who could also face his previous club this weekend.