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Everton need more than Lukaku for Champions League push

| 31.07.2014

It’s been a great few days for Everton football club after England international Ross Barkley committed his future to the club and Romelu Lukaku became the Toffees’ record signing after completing a £28m move from Chelsea.

The Goodison Park faithful are understandably delighted with the business their club have done so far this summer, also extending the deals of manager Roberto Martinez and full-back Seamus Coleman, but here’s a message to Bill Kenwright and his manager: the spending shouldn’t stop there!

While the acquisition of Lukaku, who is 20/1 with Ladbrokes to finish top Premier League goalscorer, represents excellent business for the Merseyside club, it’s worth pointing out his 16 goals for the Toffees during last season’s loan spell were still not enough to propel Martinez’s men to Champions League football.

There’s no denying the Belgian international’s arrival at Goodison is a real breakthrough in the transfer market for a club who have been run on a far inferior budget to many of the top four clubs but last season’s fifth-place finish shows Lukaku’s presence alone will not be enough to reach the European promised land.

Everton were everyone’s second team last year with their attractive style of play and passion under Martinez but the facts are last season was another without silverware and with the added prospect of Europa League football for the blue half of Merseyside, Lukaku may just need more help this time around.

Watch Lukaku in action for Everton last season:

Gareth Barry, another of last season’s star performers, is now on the books permanently but Everton, who are now 7/1 to finish in the top four, have only added Bosnia-Herzegovina international Muhamed Besic, while Gerard Deulofeu has gone back to Barcelona following his loan spell.

Elsewhere, the Toffees’ rivals for European qualification have all strengthened but with Luis Suarez now in sunny Spain rather than down the road and no-one really knowing how Manchester United will react to Louis van Gaal’s wacky methods, there will never be a better chance for Everton to reach European football’s top table.

Tottenham have so far only added Swansea duo Ben Davies and Michel Vorm to their ranks but new boss Mauricio Pochettino will be desperate to add even more quality to his squad while Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have all splashed the cash.

The difference is Everton have and with job one completed – last year’s squad has been reassembled – now is the time for Kenwright and Martinez to really show they mean business and add further to what is an incredibly talented squad.

And if big names follow Lukaku through the door then not only could Champions League football await Goodison Park but also Merseyside supremacy for the third time in four years, an outcome  available at odds of 10/3 with the bookmaker.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew