Just when everything was looking rosy in Roberto Martinez’s Everton garden, the capricious fates of football take a hand. As if losing the Merseyside derby wasn’t bad enough, an injury to on-loan Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku may mean that the Chelsea player may have kicked his last ball for the Toffees. When Martinez agreed to sell Nikita Jelavic to Hull City, having an injury to his number one striker was clearly not the thing he was hoping for, but the loan signing of Monaco’s Lacina Traore could just provide the solution.
The injury to Lukaku happened as Everton were preparing to defend the corner from which Steven Gerrard headed Liverpool ahead. In an unfortunate incident, Gareth Barry slipped on the wet surface whilst tracking his man and collided with the young striker causing him to turn his ankle. After the match, Martinez admitted to being anxious about the outcome of the injury once a scan had been completed, and said that ligament damage was possible. If this turns out to be the case, it may mean the end of the season for Lukaku, plus threaten his World Cup aspirations.
Indications are that Lukaku will return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, as Jose Mourinho sees the young Belgian as part of his plans to overhaul his misfiring strike force in the summer, so if the injury is serious, Lukaku may not play fro Everton again.
At this stage it may be premature to talk in such terms, but the situation highlights the fickle nature of football, and how quickly a club that seems to be sailing serenely along can be brought to a juddering halt.
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