Football

Ademola Lookman, the NxGn starlet flourishing in spite of Sam Allardyce


The Everton youngster’s determination to ply his trade in the Bundesliga has seen him flourish away from the struggling Toffees this season

“Ademola Lookman was adamant he chose Germany,” said former Everton boss Sam Allardyce in February. “It’s is his choice. We tried to persuade him not to because I think it is a big challenge for his development with not being able to speak the language. We wanted him to go out on loan to play first team football every week – there were better opportunities for that – but he was stubborn and got what he wanted.”

Allardyce has seen pretty much everything there is to see in football during his prolonged management career, but he was wrong. 

Most, if not all, of the Premier League’s top six were eyeing Lookman before he swapped Charlton Athletic for Everton in January last year. 

But despite an encouraging start to life at Goodison Park under former manager Ronald Koeman, the 20-year-old saw his involvement with the senior squad steadily decrease as things started to unravel on Merseyside.

Skilful, quick and intelligent with his movement, Lookman was briefly allowed to dazzle Evertonians in the second half of the 2016-17 season before being consigned to the substitutes’ bench, and even the club’s Under-23 squad for the first half of 2017-18. 

All that during a period which saw the Toffees linger precariously around the relegation zone and exit the Europa League in horrendous fashion.

After being afforded just 154 minutes of Premier League action by Koeman, David Unsworth and Allardyce, Lookman decided to take action in January and pushed desperately for a move to Leipzig, despite the protestations.

His decision to ignore his parent club’s counsel seemed to pay off instantly; Lookman came off the bench to score a late winner on his debut for Leipzig against Borussia Moenchengladbach in February, on the same day Everton suffered a demoralising 5-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

Ademola Lookman, The NxGn Starlet Flourishing In Spite Of Sam Allardyce

The former Waterloo star’s crucial cameo inevitably earned him a starting spot under manager Ralph Hassenhuttl, who soon elected to use the Under-20 World Cup winner in a central role.

The switch of position brought the best out of Lookman, who went on to score four times and provide three assists in Leipzig’s last five matches. His temporary spell in Germany was capped off with a goal and two assists in Leipzig’s 6-2 win away at Hertha Berlin on the final day of the campaign, a performance that will no doubt leave both club and supporters wanting more. 

He was involved in seven goals during his last five matches with Leipzig, more than any Everton player could muster in 25 matches under Allardyce.

Die Bullen will certainly not be the only club interested in signing the young Englishman this summer, and despite Allardyce being relieved of his duties on Merseyside, the Toffees may have trouble convincing the rising star that Goodison Park is the best place for his career in the coming months.

Get Goal+ for your Samsung device now – it’s the ultimate stats app for fans that features real-time performance data and is now available on the hottest new mobile device



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *