Romelu Lukaku wants to play in the Champions League

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In a statement that will send a shiver down the spine of Everton supporters, their key striker Romelu Lukaku has talked about the prospect of playing Champions League football sooner rather than later.

The 23-year-old has been in sublime form this season with 18 goals in the league and a key figure in the club's FA Cup run, where they have reached the semi-finals.

Lukaku reflected on his career to date which has been bereft of any action in Europe's premier club competition. "I started playing at 16 and I never had a taste of the Champions League. So it's now seven years and it's definitely something you think about," he said, according to the Independent.


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In this incredible season of ups and downs where the league has been more open than it has been for a long time, Everton have largely been bystanders, switching between the lower reaches of the top ten to their current position of 12th.

A look at the table will show that the Blues are the third highest scorers in the league with 51 goals so far. However, it is their defence that has been of greatest concern, leaking goals at critical stages which has seen them throw away vital points. In many ways, it's a complete 360-degree turnaround from the way David Moyes' teams used to play, where they built their team around defence, but a lack of creativity let them down.

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In a frank assessment of his team, Lukaku said that this season has been one of underachievement: "It's something we don't need to lie about because it's the truth. We should really be sitting in the top four after the way the league has played out this year. You look around the dressing room and wonder how the hell we are in this position."

After being a peripheral figure at Chelsea, Lukaku has been prolific throughout his time in the Premier League, firstly at West Brom and then at Everton. If he does look for greener pastures, there is likely to be no shortage of suitors for his services.

He has stated that if he does move on, he hopes it is done in a fair manner as he sees Everton as the club that has made him realise his true potential.

Everton v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

It looks like this will be the first major test for Everton's new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri. In the past year, they have rebuffed Chelsea's advances for defender John Stones, whilst there has also been interest in James McCarthy and Leighton Baines before that.

They may well have a harder time keeping Lukaku. One way to show a player how keen you are to keep them is to be ambitious in the transfer market.

Despite having a hurdle to climb in trying to earn European qualification, they seem to now have the investment required to be a contender for the top six at least.

If the worst comes to the worst the club could use the funds from the sale of their striker to re-invest into the squad. It's likely to be one of the most intriguing summers for many years on the blue half of Merseyside.

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Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Gareth Barry

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