What do Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Romelu Lukaku all have in common? Well, they are the four youngest players to reach the 50-goal mark in the Premier League.
It would be a fair assumption to suggest that Lukaku is in prestigious company after he banged a brace at the weekend at Goodison Park – his first having extra significance: his 50th Premier League goal.
Shoot takes a look at the Belgium striker who, six months before his 23rd birthday, has reached a Premier League landmark.
Where did it all start for the Toffees’ target man?
Born in Antwerp, Lukaku’s striking ability was clear from a very young age; perhaps it was in his genes – his father was Roger Lukaku, who played on various occasions for Democratic Republic of Congo and featured for the country in the 1996 African Cup of Nations.
When only a teenager, he was to feature on a Belgium documentary entitled, “De School Van Lukaku,” (Lukaku’s School). It was here where he made the visit across the British Channel to Stamford Bridge – the ground he would later play on.
Just days after turning 16, the tall striker made his debut for Anderlecht, and by 2009 he was a regular in the side that eventually went on to win that season’s Belgian Pro League title.
What happened next?
After 20 goals in the 2010-11 season, it was inevitable that he would soon depart for better things. Those came in England and West London, as Chelsea came calling for the young striker for a reported fee of £10 million.
However, it was difficult for him to make his mark and, despite scoring his first goal for the Blues in May 2012, he departed on loan to West Brom to gain essential Premier League experience. Here he blossomed into the player he is today and even made a bit of history on the final day of the season when he scored a hat-trick in Sir Alex Feguson’s last game as Manchester United manager.
On return to Cobham, there was a question on everyone’s lips: would he be able to make an impact for Chelsea? The answer was, sadly for him, no. And on the final day of the 2013 summer transfer window, the Belgian departed on loan to Everton. Here he shone with the pick being a brace in the Merseyside Derby.
The following season he made the move permanent and has became an integral part in the Everton set-up since his move to Merseyside permanently.
How much of a shock was his brace against Aston Villa on Saturday?
Not a huge surprise. Ever since making his first appearance in a Everton shirt back in September 2013, he has shown himself to be a lethal finisher in front of goal.
He received a confidence booster against Sunderland only weeks ago, where he bagged his first goal since the first week of October, making it almost inevitable that he would enter the record books in the fixture against Aston Villa. With the Villans struggling at the bottom of the table, it was set to be Lukaku’s day.
How does Lukaku perform for his country?
After making an impact in Belgium’s best division from the age of 16, it is was obvious that Lukaku would be a regular within the Belgium set-up. He made his debut in 2010, and became a regular following his move to Chelsea.
The pinnacle of his international career came in 2014 when a dream came true – making his debut in a World Cup. Despite scoring the winner in the round of 16 against the USA, unfortunately the Red Devils were knocked out by Argentina at the quarter-final stage.
Why is he so dangerous?
Lukaku’s consistency is phenomenal. A Premier League goalkeeper would be frightened to death when the Belgian is in front of goal. His height and strength make him a target man within the opposition’s 18-yard area and therefore Everton can result to the long route one ball if necessary.
His athletic ability has also shone since emerging on the British scene back in 2011, and therefore has the pace to get past and take on a defender as he approaches goal.
Super Stat: Lukaku has scored four goals and provided three assists in just three matches in November.