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Everton boss Koeman admits seeking Lukaku replacement

13 August 2017
Everton boss Koeman admits seeking Lukaku replacement

The 22-year-old scored 16 goals in 31 appearances averaging a goal every 167 minutes in the League which is not very far off from the results obtained by the season Lukaku, who averaged a goal every 131 minutes.

"We still have three players out on long-term injuries in Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, but they are doing well", Koeman told the club's official website.

He said: "The end of the transfer window is more realistic to speak about targets and what is possible". That record should not inspire a lot of confidence heading into this fixture, especially if we consider that Everton have improved vastly compared to last season.

Stoke have been thrown a hard looking opening to the season - it's Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea in the first three home games - but Everton fans are not convinced their start is a piece of cake either.

Koeman replaced Ashley Williams with Cuco Martina at the break and reverted to a back four, a switch that saw the Blues improve markedly in the second half. "I don't say "impossible" but 25 goals is a lot".

Other than Baines, expect Rooney to take most dead ball plays when he's on the pitch, with Kevin Mirallas being the only other player in the mix.

Ronald Koeman's men started their season on the right note after eliminating Ruzomberok in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. "All being well, he should be with us today (Friday) at some point and hopefully we will get that done. Then I believe we can fight against them". Fellow substitute Salomon Rondon also went close late on as Begovic diverted his curling effort just wide with his fingertips.

"They've brought good players in but lost key players too, like Lukaku". The forward was mobbed by his teammates and chants of "Rooney" rang around Goodison Park.

McCarthy, who has been linked with a move away from Everton, sat out the final pre-season friendly against Sevilla on Sunday with Koeman insisting the former Wigan player wasn't fit. Both teams will start their Premier League campaign this Saturday at Goodison Park.