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Lukaku celebrates scoring the first of two late goals to move clear as the Premier League top scorer

Romelu Lukaku scored two goals, assist in another and gave his shirt to a young fan, showed why there could be a glimmer of hope of the striker staying at Everton, as he is vital to top-four hopes of a club many think he'll leave this summer.

Ross Barkley congratulates Dominic Calvert-Lewin after the youngster bagged his first-ever Premier League goal

Tom Huddlestone was sent off in the second half for Hull

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates after scoring against Hull City

Enner Valencia calmed the nerves of home supporters by slotting in a second goal having come off the substitutes' bench

Romelu Lukaku left the pitch to a standing ovation, he strode to the Gwladys Street end of Goodison Park and handed his shirt to a wide-eyed young fan.

It was a moment that cut through the drama and difficulties of the past week; a moment that offered the slightest touch of hope to the Everton faithful that their world-class striker could yet stay at the club beyond the summer transfer window.

Calvert-Lewin shows his delight at putting his side in front for his first senior goal since an FA Cup tie in 2015

The former Sheffield United striker gets his body over the ball to slide in a simple tap-in

Calvert-Lewin pictured being congratulated by Tom Davies - who assisted the goal - and striker Lukaku as Everton made a smooth start

Ronald Koeman's side still have a run-in fixture list that contains Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, they still have an outside chance of finishing in the top four... if they can win those matches.

That is a huge task, and clearly, they will need Lukaku in this form to have any chance of achieving that.

Hull's manager Marco Silva is deep in thoughts as he watches on from the sidelines at Goodison Park

Lukaku had every reason to accept his ovation.

Everton's support had cheered his name even before kick-off, and by the end of a 4-0 crushing of Hull, in which he scored twice, he had shown just why they will not boo him.

When you have a talented player like Lukaku, you don’t hasten his departure.

Everton's manager Ronald Koeman pictured issuing instructions to captain Phil Jagielka as the Hull players take a drinks break on Saturday

“You need to have hope in life... Everton will do the maximum to keep these players,” manager Ronald Koeman said.

He added: “As always, it depends on yourself. We have the opportunity now to come closer to the teams above us, but we play Liverpool away and Man United away.

“What is normal in football, we will keep seventh in the table, but we can do more. It’s all about Liverpool away and Man United away, but I’m happy to get the chance to climb the table. That’s good, and the rest is what happens with the teams above us.”

Ross Barkley - fresh from a recall to the England squad - looks to move forward with the ball against Silva's men at Goodison

Photo credit- Daily Mail UK