Romelu Lukaku has scored seven goals in eight appearances for Everton, including two that hauled his side back into the Merseyside derby, but though Roberto Martínez is delighted with the start his loan signing has made he does not imagine Chelsea will be as generous again next season.
The Everton manager does not expect to be offered the chance to buy Lukaku, at least not at a price the club can afford, and nor can he envisage such a successful striker's loan being extended for another year.
"Every time I speak to Chelsea they rate Romelu really highly, and I think that's always been the case," Martínez said. "They made a massive investment on a player they always felt was going to take a few years to be ready. They have a goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, who has gone out on loan to Atlético Madrid, and I think Romelu is a similar signing in that respect. We are just happy to have him with us and desperate to see him enjoying his time at Everton. All I want for him is to develop a good memory of his time here, nothing else. A player like Romelu, and Gareth Barry is the same although at a different stage of his career, is not motivated by money. They are players who want to go somewhere they can develop as footballers, and it shows we are successful as a team to engage players like that. We can help such players fulfil their potential."
Martínez is not unduly concerned that Lukaku's eventual departure will weaken the side. "We'll find another goalscorer, don't worry," he said. "Everton didn't have Romelu last season and did well without him. As a manager you have to accept the challenge of players moving on, in the modern game the best performers usually do.
"I think the era of loyalty or stability, of players staying at a club for a long time is gone, but it works both ways. In the summer you had players at Real Madrid who wanted to leave, at Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. You need to keep your options open, because the best players will always want to play, and if you can offer that you can always find a way. We have a good recruitment department at the club, finding new players doesn't worry me."
Something that did worry Martínez after the Liverpool game was conceding all three goals at set pieces and he is conscious that Saturday's visitors Stoke have a reputation for exploiting such situations.
"I don't think it is a weakness, I just think the derby was a one-off," he said. "It is not normal for us to concede that many chances from set plays, if I am not mistaken we did not concede a set-piece goal in 11 matches going into the derby, so we have actually been very strong. The atmosphere of a derby can affect your concentration levels. We are aware that Stoke are strong in that area but we don't see it as an achilles heel."