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Ademola Lookman 31

With six months to get his feet under the table, the January 2017 transfer window was arguably the first in which director of football, Steve Walsh, could say he was able to properly prepare for and the club wasted little time in landing his next target when Ademola Lookman was signed from Charlton Athletic.

The move for the England U20 forward, reported to be worth around £7.5m up front and ultimately £10m if add-ons were triggered, was a record fee paid for a League One player and the result of extensive scouting by Walsh and his team.

Born in Wandsworth in London, Lookman was picked up by Charlton from Waterloo FC in 2014 and, after his scoring exploits for the Addicks' academy teams earned him a promotion to the first team, he made his senior debut in November 2015.

He quickly emerged as one of the brightest prospects in the Football League in the ensuing 14 months, playing 45 times, scoring10 league goals for the South London club and being named the Championship's Apprentice of the Year in 2015-16 despite Charlton's relegation to League One.

Lookman's transfer to Goodison Park was initially thought to be in jeopardy over Charlton's desire to have the 19-year-old return to The Valley on loan for the remainder of the season and Everton's strong reluctance to it. Manager Ronald Koeman apparently saw him as a viable first-team option for the remainder of the season given that he was likely to be without Yannick Bolasie for the rest of 2017.

Koeman expressed his satisfaction at landing Lookman saying, “Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I'm really happy that we've been able to bring him here to the Club.

“This is part of the vision we have for the Club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve.

“We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the Club.”

Blessed with great pace, balance and agility together with a desire to take players on as well as an ability to play anywhere across the forward line, Lookman promises to be an exciting addition to the Blues' squad.

Two-footed and with an eye for goal, it is no doubt hoped that as he develops in the coming years, he can provide a reliable source of creativity and goals in a team that has relied heavily on Romelu Lukaku's impressive strike rate.

Given Lookman's age and his comparatively diminutive frame for a forward — he is 5'-8½” — his biggest challenge as he prepares for the Premier League is likely to be his physique. Observers of him suggest that he will need to build up his strength to cope with the rigours of top flight football.

He took no time at all to announce himself to Everton fans 10 days after he signed, however. Introduced as a 90th-minute substitute by Koeman in order to get a taste of the action with Everton 3-0 up against Manchester City, Lookman found himself in the right spot to collect a ricochet off Seamus Coleman and bury a crisp low shot through the legs of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to mark his five-minute debut cameo in fantastic fashion.

But he found it tough to play his superb skills against the brutes of the Premier League, Koeman not risking seeing him shrugged off the ball a little too easily, and he had to sit and watch Lennon then Kone chosen ahead of him.  He got his chance to shine, however, for the England youngsters as one of five Everton players who went to South Korea and performed superbly to win the U20 World Cup, Lookman scoring 3 goals on the way to the final, and playing very well in the first half that saw his teammate Dominic Calvert-Lewin score what would be the winning goal. 

FactFile

Squad number 31
Position Forward
Nationality English
Born Southwark, London
Date of birth 20 October 1997
Height 5' 8½"
Joined 5 January 2017
Joined from Charlton Athletic
Signed by Ronald Koeman
Transfer fee £7.5m (rising to £10m)
Contract duration 4½ years
Contract expires June 2021
Debut as sub v Manchester City (H)
15 January 2017
Full debut v Bournemouth (H)
4 February 2017
Previous Clubs Charlton Athletic
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry

Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2016-17 31 3 (5) 1 0 (0) 0 3 (5) 1
  Totals 3 (5) 1 2 (2) 0 5 (7) 1


Previous Career

Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2016-17 Charlton Athletic 25 7
2015-16 Charlton Athletic 17(7) 5


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