It's hard to replace Lukaku, Everton Boss Koeman says

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It's hard to replace Lukaku, Everton Boss Koeman says

Although it was a performance that lacked cohesion and penetration, particularly when the side was labouring under the 5-3-2 formation, the win gets Everton off to a desired start to the new campaign.

But the 31-year-old's first Premier League appearance for the Toffees at Goodison Park since 2004 still felt like a landmark moment for the player and his club on Saturday.

Manager Ronald Koeman told Everton TV, "Ross (Barkley) and James are back in training but they are still not available for the weekend. That is why we signed Wayne - expecting to show his team-mates all that experience, and it was really important", he said.

Central defender Ahmed Hegazi headed the only goal at the Hawthorns while another newcomer, Jay Rodriguez, kept Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic busy in the first half.

Rooney still seems to be getting back to his top fitness level and with tough tests to come against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United, as well as a two-legged Europa League first-round play-off tie against Hajduk Split, he is sure to be tested to the max. The end of the transfer window is more realistic to speak of targets and what is possible. "Then I believe we can fight against them". "We can improve and spend money but everyone can improve is spending money". The Dutch manager has already signed the likes of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen and Henry Okeyuru in a bid to bolster his side as they look to improve on their last season's 7th placed finish.

"A lot of cleverness on the pitch and a great goal and a great header. He will have a medical and that takes time, so the thinking is he will be ready to go from Monday". We are stronger than last season but being stronger than last season does not mean you will win against the big six because they also will be more strong. "Clearly Wayne Rooney has the ability to fill that space", said Hughes, who had a brief spell at Goodison Park towards the end of his playing career.

"They had changes in the team and they lost (Marko) Arnautovic, they brought some new players in ... but Stoke City is always a battle, always a battle home, away".

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