Romelu Lukaku is paying little attention to speculation regarding his future at Everton after taking his tally for the season to 25 goals.
Lukaku has matched a feat last achieved by Gary Lineker at Everton in reaching the tally in the 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea, with potentially 12 matches of the campaign still remaining to add to it if the Toffees reach the final.
Lineker, who scored 40 goals in 57 appearances, was the last person to manage that back in 1985-86 – his only season at the club.
The 22-year-old Lukaku now has 63 in 118 matches, and while his record this season in particular is likely to put a host of Europe’s top clubs on alert in the summer, he is just concentrating on joining the ranks of “big” Premier League players.
“As a player individually I am doing my best,” he said.
“I have grown as a player, as a man, and as an individual. Technically I became stronger, faster, better and my performances are better.
“It is not like I play three games great and six games bad, I have always been good this year and this is something I wanted.
“If you look at all the big players in the league they do it from day one to the 38th game of the season and that is what I want to do.
“I want to be there for my team. Even if we lose I want to be the one who pulls the strings.
“It is going well for me and I just want to improve.”
For that reason he brushes off transfer speculation or comparisons with Lineker.
“I don’t think about it. I just think about Arsenal next week. I just want to win against them and then I go to the national team and play a big game against Portugal,” he added.
“I think with every goal I score this year there is something happening.
“I don’t think about that, I just want the team to win. Whoever scores, whoever delivers, we are all happy.
“I am happy to be having a good season and I just want to improve and do even better next year.”
He will do well to improve on his first goal against Chelsea, collecting the ball out on the left wing before dancing past Cesar Azpilicueta, Jon Obi Mikel, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill to score.
Phil Jagielka suggested afterwards Lukaku had only scored goals like it playing the FIFA football game on his console at home.
However, the Belgium international said it was competition of a different kind – against Everton’s other star turn Ross Barkley – which had helped him perfect the skill.
“Ross and I do that sort of stuff and we have our own competition in training,” he said.
“It is something Ross has in his locker, it is something I have in my locker but it does not come out very often so I am happy it went in.
“We do drills like that, with all types of finishing where I am a bit better than him.
“We try to help each other as players and he thinks more like a striker because he is more advanced and he makes me think as a number 10 if I have to link up play with the others.
“We try to be a good front partnership and I was trying to play with my head up to see if Ross was close to me.
” I saw no-one was there so I thought ‘Okay, let’s go’. Fortunately I just went and dribbled, dribbled, dribbled.
“It is something I have been working on with the coaches for a long time – with the pace I have and the one-versus-one skills sometimes it is also good to try different things and add other stuff into my game and I was glad it worked out.
“You have to have faith in your ability. I know I have a lot of qualities but I have to work hard every single day to keep performing like that.”
Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was at Goodison Park to witness Lukaku’s one-man show, but the national team boss did not speak to him afterwards.
“Oh, well he has seen what I did,” was the 22-year-old’s phlegmatic response.