OPINION: Everton's Lukaku deserves more plaudits

Striker found the net again in the Premier League

Everton, Romelu Lukaku, West Brom, Premier League

Everton's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture by Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images

Word on the grapevine is that Romelu Lukaku is nearing a new deal at Everton.

Manager Ronaldo Koeman intimated as such recently and if the Belgium puts pen to paper, that is news that cannot be understated.

"Close, yes. In football you don't get guarantees," said Koeman of the situation this week.

Even in the modern football environment where there is a perception that contracts are not a safeguard when a player wants to leave or big clubs come calling, tying down Lukaku is a boost for an Everton side who will hope to make a big step next season now that Koeman has almost had a full campaign under his belt.

Even though it seems the Anderlecht product has been around forever, the forward is still just 23 and sometimes we forget how much he has achieved despite his youth. 

On Saturday afternoon, Lukaku scored the third and final goal as Everton saw off West Brom at home and inched closer to the Top Four places. He also created Morgan Schneiderlin's goal for the second.

It's the third league game in a row in which he has scored and also his seventh goal in his last five matches.

And it's his 19th goal of a prolific season. With many games still to go, you can put money on him getting 20 and beyond.

He deserves much more credit for what he has done for Everton. Still learning - especially when it comes to his hold up play - he managed 20 in all competitions in 2014-15 and then 25 last season. For a player of his age, that is simply outstanding even when the advantage of his physical attributes of pace, power and aerial threat are accounted for.

Few strikers in the Premier League - Sergio Aguero aside - consistently match those numbers campaign after campaign. Even the season when he was on loan at Everton in 2013-14 saw him score 15 in the league when he had just emerged out of his teens. 

It's fitting in that sense that he shares the top of the Premier League goal charts with another consistently fearsome forward in the shape of Tottenham's Harry Kane, who has followed up his own prolific last two seasons with 19 league goals in 2016-17.