Chelsea’s season effectively ended with FA Cup defeat to Romelu Lukaku on Saturday night, as Everton marched on to the FA Cup semi-finals.
The Belgian scored both goals in a 2-0 victory for the Toffees that reminded the Blues exactly what they are missing in the prodigious young striker.
His first was a superb individual effort that capped a mazy run, while the second was a driven slotted finish from the right hand side of the box.
If the Blues were pondering an attempt to lure their former Belgian prodigy back to Stamford Bridge before, then it must be a certainty now.
Gossip columns have long wondered whether Lukaku will be off to a bigger club this summer and after netting his 24th and 25th goals of the campaign, is sure to be one of the hottest properties of the summer.
It likely won’t just be Chelsea that’ll come calling and Everton’s resolve is sure to be severely tested, just like it was when the Blues set their sights on John Stones at the start of the season.
Roberto Martinez managed to hang on to the highly-regarded centre back despite numerous offers from the west London club. However, it is going to take a herculean effort to keep hold of the young core – of which Lukaku is the leader – unless results and league positions drastically improve.
A spot in the FA Cup semi-finals is a step in the right direction and as long as the Toffees continue to show their credentials as challengers for trophies and the top four, then Lukaku and co could well stick around.
Following their win over Chelsea, Ladbrokes make Everton 7/2 to win the FA Cup. Crystal Palace – the other confirmed side in the last four – are 6/1, with Manchester United playing West Ham and Arsenal taking on Watford in the remaining quarter finals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.