Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hailed the dedication of Romelu Lukaku after revealing his 20-goal striker is playing through the pain barrier for the Toffees.
Lukaku converted an early penalty awarded for a foul by Jack Butland on Tom Cleverley as Everton claimed an impressive 3-0 win at Stoke on Saturday.
The spot-kick made it 20 goals in all competitions for Lukaku in 2015-16, the second successive season he has reached that mark.
Martinez confirmed the striker had played through the pain after being forced off by a back injury in Wednesday’s win over Newcastle, and was full of praise for the Belgium international.
“He has had injury problems but he doesn’t want to miss games,” Martinez said.
“He only managed to train on Friday slightly but the moment he felt he could walk freely he wanted to be available. It shows the incredible, strong personality he has.
“You run out of compliments you can pay to Rom.
“He lives for the game. He is an old-fashioned footballer, at the age of only 22.
“He just comes in and wants to work on his game constantly. He is a goalscorer who is obsessed with finishing quality.”