Romelu Lukaku's Everton record could be just the start for him

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring for Everton against Sunderland

When Romelu Lukaku forced the ball in for Everton's second in the 2-0 win over Sunderland it was far from his most polished effort, but it was an historic one. The goal not only took him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts alongside Alexis Sanchez but also put him level with Duncan Ferguson as Everton's top scorer in the competition's history.

Ferguson is an Everton icon and as a member of the club's coaching staff was on hand to celebrate the achievement with Lukaku. But even his staunchest admirers would struggle to make the case for the Scot being a goalscorer of the pedigree of the Belgian. Ferguson reached his total of 60 goals in 239 games. Lukaku has done so in just 129 appearances.

Romelu Lukaku has equalled Duncan Ferguson's Premier League scoring record for Everton
Image: Lukaku has equalled Duncan Ferguson's Premier League record for Everton

The feeling persists that there is more to come. Former coach Steve Clarke, under whom Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals on loan at West Brom while still a teenager, recently suggested as much. His current coach Ronald Koeman even used the occasion of the player's record-equalling feat to hammer home that message afterwards.

"There is still a long way to go," said Koeman. "One of his big qualities is scoring goals. He's strong, he's fast. But I also think he can improve - giving options to the midfield players and threat to the defenders. We press from the front. His actions mean we might not have to pass the ball back to the goalkeeper and we can push up as a team."

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Lukaku has now scored 60 Premier League goals for Everton

It is true that the forward can improve his hold-up play and he must also work on his movement if he is to truly fulfil his vast potential and become the global superstar that his fans believe he can be. But make no mistake about it, when it comes to sheer weight of goals the verdict is already in - Lukaku is a goalscoring phenomenon.

His total of 77 Premier League goals puts him among the top 50 with the likes of Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo and Dennis Bergkamp in his sights. Ruud van Nistelrooy is not much further ahead and at the current rate he can expect to join the 100 club next season. Eric Cantona and Daniel Sturridge are among those who have been overtaken this term.

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Romelu Lukaku is among the top scoring active Premier League players
Image: Lukaku is among the top scoring active Premier League players

In fact, there are only five current Premier League players ahead of him on the list. Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero, of course, along with veteran strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch. But with Lukaku, it is his age that really marks him out as something special. He does not turn 24 until Everton's final home game of the season against Watford in May.

Crouch scored only 11 Premier League goals before turning 24. Even Defoe, something of a talent himself as a youngster, scored 48. The closest comparison to Lukaku at the same stage is perhaps Rooney, and the Everton forward still has a dozen games in which to reach the Manchester United captain's tally of 86 goals before celebrating his 24th birthday.

WATCH: Lukaku's best goals

WATCH: Lukaku's best goals

Watch Romelu Lukaku's best Premier League goals after he equals the Everton record.

In historic terms, he is ahead of Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the same age and is now level with the tally of goals that Ronaldo managed before turning 24. While it would be folly to expect the same exponential improvement, it further emphasises the goalscoring level at which he is operating. No current 23 year old can match him.

There has been far more discussion of Harry Kane's prospects of breaking Alan Shearer's record of 260 Premier League goals, and yet both the Tottenham striker and Lukaku were born in the same summer of 1993. It is the Everton player who has an 11-goal lead and is matching the Englishman this season to boot.

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Having joined Chelsea for £18m back in 2011, it already feels as though Lukaku has been around forever. To illustrate the point, he made his debut up front alongside Nicolas Anelka for Andre Villas-Boas' Blues. And yet, remarkably, in this his sixth Premier League campaign, he is still eligible for the forthcoming PFA young player of the year award.

So how many more goals are there to come and who will he be scoring them for? That could depend on the other aspects of his game alluded to by Koeman and the progress that is made in that regard. But whether he adds those qualities to his game or not, it seems certain that the goals will keep coming. For Lukaku, there are many more records ahead.

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