Koeman: Everybody loves Lukaku – you don’t sell your best players

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Ronald Koeman has reaffirmed Everton’s commitment to keeping
top scorer Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian’s quickfire double
helped them to a 4-0 victory over 10-man Hull City.

Lukaku moved two clear of Tottenham’s Harry Kane on 21 goals in
the hunt for the Premier League’s Golden Boot award with two
stoppage-time strikes at Goodison Park, adding to earlier
efforts from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Enner Valencia.

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Everton moved level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal thanks
to the victory – having played two games more than Arsene
Wenger’s side – and Koeman was quick to praise Lukaku after a
week in which the striker refused to sign a new contract with
the Merseyside club.

“The fans love Rom. Everybody loves Rom,” Koeman said of
Lukaku, who has just over two years remaining on his
current deal.

Lukaku Everton Hull City 18032017

Lukaku Everton Hull City 18032017

“He’s the key player and the top scorer and he showed why
[against Hull]. If he gets that space he will punish the
opposition and that’s one of his big qualities. 

“Of course we want to keep the best players. We’re in a good
position in this project and you don’t sell your best players.”

Calvert-Lewin’s maiden Premier League goal put the hosts ahead
early on, though an injury to Morgan Schneiderlin resulted in a
stuttering display from the Toffees.

However, a harsh decision by referee Paul Tierney
to dismiss Tom Huddlestone for a lunge on Idrissa Gueye
enabled Everton to wrap-up the points in style late on,
although Koeman acknowledged that Hull presented a tough
challenge.

“We kept the momentum. But the final result didn’t reflect what
happened on the pitch,” Koeman added.

“The decision of the referee about the red card was too
harsh I believe. But it gave us more space to kill the game and
we did that.

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“We now have the opportunity in two weeks to play Liverpool and
Manchester United. If we want to do something more special this
season then we need to beat the teams above us.”

Hull boss Marco Silva, meanwhile, agreed with his counterpart’s
assessment of the red card incident, insisting that his side
did not deserve to lose by such a margin.

“We didn’t deserve this result and we didn’t deserve what
happened,” Silva said. “I don’t want to talk about [the red
card] too much. We didn’t deserve this. It decided the
game.”

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