Romelu Lukaku reckons Everton’s “beautiful football” can get him on Belgium’s plane to Brazil for next summer’s World Cup.
The Chelsea striker only learned of a potential loan move to Goodison Park at 7pm on Monday.
But, after talking to his Stamford Bridge boss Jose Mourinho – and manager Roberto Martinez and Kevin Mirallas, a Belgium team-mate, at end – Lukaku to play regular football in a World Cup year.
“For my development and with the World Cup coming up at the end of the season, I cannot afford to stay on the bench,” said the 20-year-old. “At Everton, I can continue my progress in a club that likes to play beautiful football."
Lukaku, currently on World Cup qualifying duty with his homeland in preparation of Friday’s away game against Scotland, added: “I got a phone call at about 7pm on Monday to tell me that I could go to Everton.
“We were signing balls and T-shirts. I said to the coach that I had something urgent and I went up to my room.
“I wanted to think and talk to my parents. I wanted to know certain things before I agreed. When you are on loan, you have to know that you are really going to play.
“Then I received a call from Roberto Martinez and he reassured me and said lots of nice things. And Kevin Mirallas was in my room with me almost the whole time. He told me how things worked at Everton and he encouraged me to come.”
Belgium top European Group A with three games to go, a point ahead of Croatia, and look certain to finish as at least runners’-up
Lukaku, who spent last season on loan at West Brom, missed the decisive penalty in on Friday night.
Three days later, his career took another twist as loaned him to the Merseyside ones.
“I thought I would stay at Chelsea, but I was only 90 per cent sure,” said the striker, a £17million signing from Anderlecht in 2011.
“I had some doubts about the game time I would get. At my age, I absolutely have to play. had nothing to do with it.
“Jose Mourinho called me and he was clear with me. It is better like that. I like it when a coach is honest.
“He is the best coach I have had. He wanted to make me better and did it with a firm hand. Together, we agreed that a loan was the best solution.
“Other clubs were interested. For Malaga, I was not allowed to go outside England. West Bromwich Albion was also there but I didn’t want to choose the easy option.
“We must face challenges and mine will be at Everton. “