Romelu Lukaku has come in for a lot of criticism during his short career so far, being rejected by Jose Mourinho and Chelsea after bursting onto the scene at childhood club RSC Anderlecht.
In his first full season, at only 16-years-old, he scored 15 league goals in 33 appearances, many of which made from the bench. Just over a year and 18 league goals later, ex-Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas came calling. A whopping fee of £10 million, later rising to £17 million, was slapped on the youngster.
After successful seasons on loan at West Brom and Everton, scoring 17 and 16 goals respectively, Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright decided to offer a record sum to secure the young Belgian on a permanent basis after it was made clear he was surplus to requirements in west London.
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Throughout his season on loan at Goodison Park and the 2014/15 season following his full transfer, Everton fans and pundits alike questioned Lukaku's performances, with his touch and ability to link up play particularly scrutinised.
This season, though, the 22-year-old is at last living up the billing of being "phenomenal."
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His brace against Aston Villa on November 21 meant Lukaku became only the fifth player to score 50 Premier League goals before turning 23, joining an elite list featuring Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And with 13 strikes in 18 games across all competitions and four assists this season, Lukaku is finally proving his worth and potential.
Against Bournemouth on Saturday, Lukaku’s finish meant he had scored in four consecutive league games for the first time since November 2010.
He went one better in scoring against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, becoming the first Toffees player to score five in five since Joe-Max Moore did so in 2000.
His performance helped Everton into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup - a feat unfortunately eclipsed still by Jamie Vardy’s record-breaking heroics over the weekend. The Belgian will hope to help Everton to a first trophy in 20 years at Wembley on February 28th.
Roberto Martinez's men currently sit ninth and on 21 points in the Premier League - and with Lukaku spearheading their dangerous attack, the possibilities are endless as to how high Everton can set their sights.
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