Romelu Lukaku looking forward to facing club pals in France

Belgium and Everton striker may face Coleman, Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy

 Romelu Lukaku: “I’m among the best. That’s good. Personally I am happy.”  Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Romelu Lukaku: “I’m among the best. That’s good. Personally I am happy.” Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

 

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has described himself as one of the most gifted strikers in world football after scoring 25 goals in all competitions for his Premier League club last season.

Despite his form, Everton finished 11th and sacked manager Roberto Martinez, although Lukaku still rates the season as his finest in terms of individual achievement.

“I’m among the best, that’s good. Personally I’m very happy,” Lukaku said in an interview with the June edition of World Soccer magazine. “I did expect to produce a season of this calibre.”

The 23-year-old is part of Belgium’s squad for this month’s European Championship in France, where his team play Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group E.

Club mates

Seamus ColemanJames McCarthyBelgium

“They are happy to be going to France and warn me that they are going to make life difficult for us. I jokingly reply that we won’t be easy meat,” the Belgian said.

Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez believes he would “probably have been the star” at former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid if he was given the chance.

Hernandez was with United for five years up to last summer and scored 37 goals in 103 Premier League games – 49 starts and 54 substitute appearances.

He spent 2014-15 on loan at Real and was rarely a starter for them, getting only seven Primera Division run-outs as part of the first XI and 16 from the bench, netting seven times.

Since joining Leverkusen in August the 28-year-old Mexico international has started in all but three of his 28 Bundesliga appearances and scored 17 goals.

And he told FourFourTwo: “If I’d had more chances at United or Real, I’d probably have been ‘the star’ there as well – we’ll never know.

“I didn’t have the chance. I never had the chance to play 20 games in a row so people could say, ‘He’s a good player who should stay’ or, ‘He can’t be the star – he’s not a good player’.

Sevilla’s Argentina midfielder Ever Banega is set to join Inter Milan as a free agent in the summer transfer window.

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