Club News

'Humble' Rom's showing true potential

Foster also reveals training standards have risen since Yacob's return

BEN Foster believes Albion’s top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku is beginning to show his true potential at The Hawthorns.

The 19-year-old striker has netted nine Barclays Premier League goals in only eight starts for the Baggies this season.

And the former Manchester United keeper pointed to the Belgium international’s brace at Reading last weekend as evidence he is a player of the highest quality.  

“Rom is a beast - an absolute beast!” quipped Foster. 

“He was unplayable in the Reading game. He was at the hub of everything. 

“He started off the season a bit in and out - even in training, sometimes he was amazing, sometimes he didn't quite look like he was there. 

“But in training over the past month, he's been on fire, looking every bit the player Chelsea bought for a lot of money.

“During the last month, it's like the penny's dropped.

“It was probably the inexperience, about getting used to playing Premier League football, and knowing his role as a striker. 

“He uses his strength to hold players off and he's starting to get into the box to get on the end of things. 

“He'll be a big player in years to come. 

“He looks hungry and wants to learn.”

Foster has also revealed Lukaku's popularity in the Albion dressing room is not purely down to his footballing ability.

“Fair play to him, he's not only an amazing player, he's such a good lad as well," added the Albion No.1.

“He's so humble. He just gets on with things and is one of the last ones off the training field. 

“You like to think that good things happen to good people like him. 

“I'm really happy for him and I just know he's really happy. 

“He enjoys coming in and he's got a good set of lads and a group of friends here. 

“It's also credit to him as a person that he's so grounded. 

“He doesn't give off any grief or surliness. He's just a good lad who cracks on with it and listens to what you say. 

“He's got no ego. You can shout at him in training or in a match and he'll listen, no matter who you are.”

Foster also highlighted the impact of Claudio Yacob’s return to training this week after an eight-game absence with a hamstring problem. 

“When Claudio came back into training, the standard was raised just from the fact he was there," added Foster.

“You pass him the ball and he has his head up straightaway. 

“He has been a big miss for us.

“It's great to have him back in training.

“Him and Youssouf (Mulumbu), when they were playing together regularly, were fantastic.

“They offer so much protection to the team defensively.

"Also, going forward, Claudio is so calm on the ball. Everyone breeds off that and it raises the standard of everyone else.

“He has done great. He is also having regular lessons so his English is improving, because he was awful when he first came!

“He seems a settled lad. He is quiet and just gets on with it.”