Romelu Lukaku has everything you want from a striker, says Roberto Martinez

Romelu Lukaku has everything you want from a striker, says Roberto Martinez, ahead of Belgium's UEFA Nations League meeting with France.

Romelu Lukaku forward of Belgium celebrates scoring
Romelu Lukaku forward of Belgium celebrates scoring

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez insists Romelu Lukaku is better than ever despite his recent poor return in front of goal.

The Belgian striker has come under criticism in recent times after going five games without a goal for Chelsea in Premier League.

But his national team manager Roberto Martinez has come to his defence, insisting that the striker is ‘better than ever’ despite his numbers.

Recently, former Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte caused a stir by claiming Chelsea have not yet discovered how to use their £97.5million record signing. 

But ahead of Belgium’s meeting with France at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, where they hope to avenge their World Cup semi-final defeat against France, Martinez says Lukaku remains the perfect definition of a striker.

“I started working with Romelu when he was 19,’ said Belgium boss Martinez, who signed Lukaku for Everton (on loan) from Chelsea in 2013.

“As with any player, I’ve seen an evolution.

“He can do everything you want from a striker. He can play with his back to goal or run in behind. He has power and intelligence. He has every single function you would want from a centre-forward.

“His time in Italy with Inter Milan gave him another degree of maturity, and this is a great moment in his career, and the most outstanding thing about him is his goal-scoring.

“His conversion rate is exceptional. Look at his goals, he is already the record scorer for the national team, and you will get the best out of him when you put him in those positions.”

Lukaku has scored 67 goals in 100 appearances for Belgium and is the country’s all-time top scorer. he will hope to fire Belgium past France–the country that beat them at the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final. 

A win against France will take them to the UEFA Nations League final, where they will meet Spain.