Wednesday 17 January 2018

Roberto Martinez: Romelu Lukaku won't let me rest him

Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Everton manager Roberto Martinez admits he would not be able to ease striker Romelu Lukaku through the remainder of the season even if he wanted to.

The Belgium international is set to return from a four-week absence with a hamstring injury tomorrow at home to Burnley.

Considering the workload the 21-year-old has had over the last 10 months, taking in the World Cup in Brazil and then heading straight into a Premier League and European campaign, there may have been a temptation to let their top scorer have a more restful end to the season with the Toffees having nothing to play for.

However, Martinez believes he would have a difficult time trying to convince him to take it easy, even if he was inclined to protect his striker from more injuries before the end of the campaign. “I think it would be near-enough impossible to keep Rom away from the football pitch at this stage. It’s not in his nature,” said the Spaniard.

“Someone like Rom needs to be on the football pitch. He is only 21 and I don’t think there is any need for that at all.

“If I am completely honest I think he has been suffering a lot in the last seven to 10 days that he has been injured and away from the team. Rom belongs on the pitch, working for the team and scoring goals and becoming important and I don’t think there is a strong case to rest him now.What we have to make sure is when he gets involved with Belgium in June he gets a proper break.”

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