Romelu Lukaku has revealed the reason behind rejecting a new contract at Everton, with the Belgian eyeing silverware in his future.
The Toffees frontman turned down a mega £130,000-a-week contract from the club yesterday, the biggest financial package ever offered by the Merseyside side to a player.
Lukaku has since stated that a lack of ambition is why he had to turn down a new deal at Goodison Park, while also valuing himself as ‘one of the best strikers in the Premier League’.
It had been expected that the 23-year-old, who has scored 19 times in the Premier League this season, would sign a new deal, however, a lack of quality transfer targets and realistic chance of winning trophies has produced a dramatic u-turn.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Lukaku revealed his need to fulfill his career goals.
“Everton as a club have a great history, right?’ Lukaku said. “But the future has to be written. You get me? We always talk about the teams of the 1980s and, if you look, it was great. But we, as players, want the fans talking about us instead of us talking about them. No disrespect but you know what I mean?
“You cannot only be remembered by scoring goals. You want to be remembered by winning trophies. That is what the fans want. So instead of living in the past, you have to think ahead.
“How this club has to grow, how this club has to improve. Which player does it want to bring in so you can challenge for the big trophies?
“Sometimes I speak to Vincent Kompany, who was at Manchester City when it all happened. He said, ‘Rom, one summer I just came in and boom, boom, boom… Robinho from there, this guy came in, this guy came in’.
“Everyone was criticising them but, at the end, there are two league titles, FA Cup here, League Cups there. That is what we want as players.”
Everton have attempted to make a statement in the transfer market after Farhad Moshiri became the club’s majority shareholder in February 2016, signing Yannick Bolasie, Morgan Schneiderlin & Ademola Lookman for a combined £50million.
However, Lukaku discussed the Toffees’ recent failures in the transfer market, stating: “Stuff is happening, but there were some players we could have got, that I knew the club could have got and they didn’t. And they are playing in this league. I’m not saying names but they are doing well.”
The Belgium international is now favourite to become the Premier League golden boot winner after his nearest competitor Harry Kane suffered ligament damage, and Lukaku revealed he was sorry to see his goalscoring rival on the sidelines.
“I’m sad he is injured. Everyone wants to see top players in the league and it’s sad for Tottenham and him. I hope he gets better and becomes stronger than he is now. He is a good player.”
But his next statement revealed a lot about Lukaku’s future intentions in football, with the forward hoping to play alongside the world’s best.
“‘I don’t look at other players if they aren’t going to teach me anything,’ he said when asked if Kane was a player he looks to learn from. “If I have the feeling you aren’t going to teach me something, why should I look at you? That’s the thing I have. I’m focused on Everton and what I am doing.
“Suarez, Lewandowski, Benzema, Cavani. I’m not looking at the rest. No chance. I watch what they do in certain moments and I think “that’s interesting”. How close am I to them? I’m close. I’m one of the best strikers in the Premier League, 100 per cent.
“If I don’t say I am one of the best, I’m shooting myself in the head. Can I be one of the best in the world? Definitely. But to do that, you need the platform to show yourself. Then you are talking about Champions League and whatever types of games.
“I’m not scared of anything,” he continued. “I’m just playing football and trying to do whatever I can to help Everton become a better club. Like every team-mate. We want the best for the club because we have great facilities, good fans. An example like Everton in the Community who work hard. You have a good bunch of lads.
“But at the end of the day fans want to see trophies. Players want trophies so we need to try more, give a bit more. You should not shy away from it.
“If you don’t win a trophy, something has gone wrong because if you have the belief that you can do something, you can do it. If you have the belief, you work and focus, then you can get it. Nothing is going to stop you. That’s how I think.”