Date: 26th October 2016 at 8:24pm
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Ronald Koeman took over from the sacked Roberto Martinez in the summer, with the task of improving an Everton side who stumbled to an 11th place finish in the Premier League last season.

And the early signs are that he will do just that.

The Toffees won four of their opening five league games, but have since gone winless in four and have lost at both Bournemouth and Burnley.

They picked up a credible draw at Manchester City a few weeks ago, but need to get back to winning ways to sustain a challenge for the European places. They currently sit sixth in the division, five points off leaders City.

There have been some strong performers in the Everton team this season, but who is their most creative player after their opening nine Premier League matches?

Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

There isn’t a lot between Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku, but the Belgian forward just edges it.

He may have created four less chances than Barkley’s tally of 21, but Lukaku has netted six times and chipped in with two assists in the first few months of the season, whereas Barkley has scored once and assisted just once.

Some have been crucial goals as well, including all three in the comprehensive win at Sunderland, and the equaliser at the Etihad against Manchester City last week.

Furthermore, the 23-year-old is second only to Barkley in terms of number of key passes per game, with the English international averaging 2.6 to Lukaku’s 2.1 which, considering the striker is usually the furthest forward, is not a bad effort.

However, the Belgian star, who has already netted three goals in two games for his country this season, has averaged more shots per game (3.1) than Barkley, and only Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie have dribbled more than the striker.

Lukaku is continuing to show what an excellent forward he is in English football, and is well placed to beat last season’s tally of 18 Premier League goals.

His form and fitness will be crucial to Everton this season, and will likely determine whether or not they finish in the European spots.

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