Romeu Lukaku explains how Roberto Martinez has helped him develop as a striker

by Leo Nieboer

Romelu Lukaku has revealed that Roberto Martinez used to make him watch videos of Hugo Sanchez, Edison Cavani and former red Javier Hernandez to help develop his movement in the box.

The Belgian developed a strong working relationship with Martinez at Everton back in 2013 and eventually joined them on a permanent deal a year later.

And he has continued to work well with Martinez, now manager of Belgium, at an international level, equalling the country’s all-time goalscoring record with a brace against Mexico last week.

Speaking earlier this week, Lukaku revealed that Martinez would make him watch videos of various poachers as a means of improving his intelligence in the box.

“I’ve improved my movement, especially in the box,” he said. “Two years ago, at Everton, Roberto Martinez made me watch videos of my own movement, but also those of other strikers like Hugo Sanchez, Edinson Cavani and Chicharito.”

“You need to sit down and watch the Uruguayan’s movement inside the box. It’s incredible. On top of that, I worked three times a week on my runs inside the box with my coaches.”

Martinez suffered a pretty miserable descent at Goodison Park in 2016 but ought to be remembered for rearing an Everton side that played with a kind of vigour and purpose that Ronald Koeman never managed to oversee.

And Lukaku clearly views him as an important influence. Martinez has always been a man who deals with players personally, taking interest in the minutiae of their styles rather than just how they function in a wider system.

His movement has been criticised over the last month, with many labelling him as either ponderous, leaden footed, or simply predictable. But the 24-year-old’s brace over the weekend reminded supporters of an important lesson: that one player alone cannot make effective runs in behind; the support from further behind him simply needs to improve.

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