Lukaku physicality key to Everton form - Martinez

Roberto Martinez has hailed the improved physicality of Romelu Lukaku as one of the major factors behind Everton's strong recent form.

The Everton manager says Lukaku has now fully adapted physically to the Premier League, with the Belgium international having missed just 38 minutes of action this season.

Lukaku has hit six goals in his last five matches, with his tally for the season standing at 13, and Martinez said it is a "long process" to be able to complete full matches regularly.

"Every foreign player has to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League but, for a striker like Rom, with his frame, I don't think he had the opportunity to play enough 90 minutes when he first arrived," Martinez said ahead of Everton's home game against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

"He had an incredible scoring ratio at West Brom but I think he played only seven full 90 minutes that season. 

"It's a long process to get to the stage where you can play 90 minutes without losing the power and the pace in every action but now it's very rare that you don't see him finish the last 10 minutes with the same power, pace and control.

"On top of that, he can play three games in a week, which is quite remarkable for a player of that size. 

"I would say that's happening now for the first time this year. At the start of last season, he was catching up after the World Cup. From January, he's been the mature Rom who can play 90 minutes."

Martinez added that Lukaku and fellow young talents Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu are all in a "great moment of form" with Everton unbeaten in six matches and preparing for a League Cup semi-final against Manchester City in January.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1