Everton have completed their first signing of the January transfer window with the acquisition of Ademola Lookmam from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee.
The move for the exciting England U20 forward, reported to be worth around £7.5m up front and ultimately £11m if add-ons are triggered — a record fee for a League One player either way — has been on the cards for the past few weeks but with the final details resolved in the past few days, the 19-year-old underwent a medical yesterday. He put pen to paper on a 4½-year deal today and will wear the number 31 shirt.
Ronald 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.”
Born in Wandsworth in London, Lookman was picked up by Charlton from Waterloo FC three years ago 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 has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in the Football League in the ensuing 14 months, having played 45 times, scored 10 league goals for the South London club and been named the Championship's Apprentice of the Year last season.
Lookman's transfer to Goodison Park was 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.
Ronald Koeman apparently sees him as a viable first-team option for the remainder of the season given that he will likely be without Yannick Bolasie for the rest of 2017.
His omission from Charlton's two most recent games was, however, an indication that a deal was imminent. Addicks boss Karl Robinson admitted over the weekend that he pulled Lookman from his team to “protect his dream”.
“He could have left in the summer and he chose to stay,” Robinson explained. "I had the same thing with Dele Alli. He turned down a few moves in one window and it got to Christmas and the kid was so scared of tackles.
"He became a marked man, I saw players purposely try to kick him. I can't watch a kid's dream go.”
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.
“It feels great to be an Everton player,” the new signing said after the transfer was completed. “As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me.”
More details at EvertonFC.com
Reader Comments (82)
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1 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:14:32
2 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:18:14
3 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:39:10
4 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:45:36
Best of luck, Ademola, hopefully the first of many!
5 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:50:40
Fingers crossed he is the first of many in January.
6 Posted 05/01/2017 at 14:56:00
Welcome to the new Messi!
8 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:25:31
9 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:26:39
10 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:38:53
11 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:43:30
12 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:47:17
Good luck, lad!
13 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:51:39
14 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:52:23
15 Posted 05/01/2017 at 15:55:06
For those of you that haven't seen him play, he is quick, tricky and direct. Has a great right foot, but can hit them with his left also.
There are a few things he needs to get sorted though such as his final ball, decision making when he has time and is not just playing on instinct and also he needs to bulk up a bit to stop defenders pushing him off the ball, but he is young and has all the tools to succeed.
Welcome to paradise Ademola!
16 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:03:52
Welcome aboard, lad.
18 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:11:04
Taxi for one...
19 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:15:41
On a side note, Jose Fonte has just asked to leave Southampton.
20 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:18:32
21 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:21:36
Played 25 games for Charlton in League 1, scoring 7 goals this season as a striker/winger and is their 2nd top scorer. He has 2 assists, 20 shots on target and 3 yellow cards so far this season.
He only broke into their first team in November 2015 yet a few weeks ago he was handed the armband when his captain was substituted. He has been described by some as the best young kid outside the Premier League. Usually plays on the left and has good control and is strong on the ball with decent pace.
I've a good feeling about this young player as he looks very gifted with both feet. Considering we bought DCL for £1.5M and Holgate for £2M you would imagine Walshe and Koeman have done their homework on young Lookman and rate him highly to be prepared to fork out £7M upfront with £11M the total outlay. In today's inflated market you would imagine we will make money on him, even if he fails to step up to the level in the premier league but I have a feeling he has what it takes to go far.
From the brief YouTube footage I've seen, I like the way he's not too greedy and is able to beat a man and lay it off rather than do what Geri often does and take too much out of the ball. Of course it will be much tougher for him at this level but with us seeing Koeman giving chances to Holgate, Davies and DCL lately you would hope we will see him soon on the left wing, though I presume he's cup- tied.
Fonte would be interesting but he's 33 now so not sure is he what we need alongside Williams
22 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:26:39
Also... don't go out and buy a gold Bentley.
23 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:27:08
Wish the lad all the luck in the world.
That said, right now I'd like to see a very different type of player brought in. A couple of real dog's arses who never smile and despise losing would be great. A pair who never shut the fuck up, who moan at refs and use fear to keep their own team-mates switched on.
Appreciate there's not many of this type around these days but maybe Walsh knows of a couple.
What I'm convinced of is that – unless we can get a few players in who can affect things in ways other than the occasional mazy run – there won't be any discernible change to what we've seen in recent months.
24 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:32:41
25 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:36:38
26 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:53:05
27 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:57:57
28 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:58:58
He's not shy on the pitch and actually has a bit of an edge to him, a fact we'll all be happy with.
29 Posted 05/01/2017 at 16:59:42
30 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:01:25
Impressed that we got this business done early in the window, one of Koeman's aides must have nipped out with the cheque book whilst Bill and Ben were pre-occupied with the smoke and mirrors at the AGM.
Just watched the Koeman interview re: Lookman: "We don't have anyone like him / that talented etc ... in the U23s". Downright insulting to some very talented lads... obstinate cloggie 'kwitt when will the penny drop?
31 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:01:35
32 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:10:18
33 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:22:34
He's only 19, but he's already played nearly 50 games in the lower divisions, which is more than most of his contemporaries in the U23s will have got out on loan, so that's good too and probably the reason we didn't loan him back to Charlton for the rest of the season.
34 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:23:23
Schneiderlin is one of the best tacklers in the league. Him, alongside Barry or Gana would be formidable, and would allow us to play that "luxury creative" player we all crave.
We just need to go and bloody find and sign one now.
As for Lookman I like this signing and have big hope for him.
35 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:23:57
The guy is being honest at least.
36 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:28:01
I heard Karl Robinson (RS, I know!) on Five Live's Monday night club before Christmas discussing Lookman and in summary:
- best young talent he's ever worked with (given he worked with Dele Alli, that's saying something),
- brilliant attitude (always first into training and last to leave),
- very humble and grounded,
- respectful and quiet away from football,
- always wants to learn,
- will be a star,
- without naming names, indicated that a deal had already been done with a good club (clearly now us),
- didn't want to stand in his way as he's ready for a step up in challenge.
So he'll do for me (particularly as £7.5m is nothing in today's market how mad does that sound?!) but I just hope that we are patient with him as he's still very young and will inevitably require nurturing properly and sensitively if he's to become the player that we (and he) hopes he'll be.
37 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:29:48
If he had cost £1 million or so, I would've probably writen him off as one of those to make up the numbers for the youth sides but this is one of those situations where a higher price tag is more encouraging as there's more chance of him playing for the first team, you would think.
38 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:30:32
The learning curve will be to steep for him to start games (watch the clips; he loses the ball a lot), but he'll be a great impact sub for the rest of the season and hopefully score and/or create a few goals.
39 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:40:02
He looks like he has some devil about him, and some balls, along with reported leadership abilities which bodes well. We've had too many talented players lacking the above in the past.
40 Posted 05/01/2017 at 17:54:51
Same age as a number of the U23s; just shows that these lads need to be applying their trade in the Championship as opposed to the U23s Premier League 2 as it will give them a far better grounding.
41 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:06:43
42 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:10:00
43 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:17:22
We have other targets that will probably fit your criteria. What's wrong with also bringing someone in for a relative small fee who may develop into an exceptional player? How can you say it's a lot of money when you (most likely) know very little about the kid?
44 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:25:24
45 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:50:27
47 Posted 05/01/2017 at 18:56:03
Mark, how closely and how often have you watched the lad? I bet it's only YouTube. And we can get a experienced Premier League player with proven quality for the same amount?! Diego Costa maybe? Or Giroud? They wouldn't cost us much, suppose.
48 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:01:44
We signed Gana Gueye for £7 million with as far as I know no add ons. I guess most said why are we buying a central midfield player from Villa who had just been relegated; I think he also played nearly every game for Villa that season.
Now I don't know too many fans who aren't delighted with his contribution so far this season.
49 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:04:55
Seems a bit Raheem Sterling / Shite Mane type player, buzzing round the edge of the box.
50 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:08:15
51 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:08:50
Got to agree with Eugene about signing some sore losers, but I'm excited about this signing too. At the moment, we are riddled with indecision, this kid hasn't had "going for the throat" coached out of him yet. Hopefully he never will...
52 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:15:51
53 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:17:37
54 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:18:44
Take a look at his video and you can see this is a very well-built young man. Don't think anybody will be knocking him off the ball once he adjusts to the Premier League's physicality.
55 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:18:59
He got injured over a month ago and Everton haven't uttered one word about the injury. I think he will be worth waiting for.
56 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:23:28
All-in-all, I think it could be a really interesting / great signing...
I imagine most of us had never heard of him so far from a boring, predictable signing too which is a little bit exciting.
I for one welcome him and wish him a great career with us. Good luck, Ademola!
57 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:34:04
It's basic economics. Of course they're squeezing more money out of us and every other team in the top flight.
58 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:40:19
Big question for me is why hasn't one of the London 'elite' snapped him up? They're no slouches when it comes to recognising real talent. We all recall the superlatives levelled at Rodwell and lately Ross; now it's Lookman who is Everton's and England's glittering future... we'll see.
59 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:40:34
In terms of football, he is green. Has played some games though at a lower level and has a decent goal-scoring record. Considering that we spunked £13m on bloody Niasse I am happy to have a punt on the lad. I for one am confident that he can make the step up from what I can see. It will take time but I am sure he will.
Not bothered about him being 5'-8½" either Not a problem for Sterling after all.
60 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:50:01
61 Posted 05/01/2017 at 19:57:34
The YouTube clips are a little uninspiring considering the level he is playing at.
However, when watching them I kept thinking... "I know that dribbling style from somewhere"... then it clicked. He dribbles very like Sterling with the low centre of balance, tight control and the zigzagging runs.
Will be a snip if he can reach Sterling's levels or beyond. I hope someone else understands what I mean about the dribbling style/posture etc.
62 Posted 05/01/2017 at 20:01:42
For anyone thinking we shouldn't be signing anyone from League 1, the Gunners have just signed a defender from Non League Hednesford Town!
63 Posted 05/01/2017 at 20:22:51
Dowell, £1 - £2m, Davies £4 - £5m, Calvert-Lewin probably the same as Davies, possibly the only one to come close to the £7m in today's inflated market would be Holgate.
Lookman has 50 or so appearances in league one scored 10 goals in 45 appearances; technically good, can use both feet and can create. The lad has a mental robustness about him to be made captain, all within just over 12 months, seriously, how many of our U23s can boast that a senior level, alright league one but still at a senior level.
And let's not be too quick to underestimate the lads physical attributes and the questions being raised over strength. Let's be honest there are some right fucking yard dogs across the park in all of the teams in league one who aren't afraid of mixing it so, he must be able to handle himself a little.
Also why do we send our U23s out on loan to lower league clubs, to gain the exact same experience Lookman has to prepare for the hustle and bustle of the premier league and to be ready to come into the team and perform.
You may think the comments disrespectful to the U23s and, yes there are some very talented player's there but, why not turn it around a little? The U23s rather than being sensitive souls sulking in the corner why not use those comments as motivation to prove your just as good.
It also demonstrates that Koeman is willing to start using youth, there is away into the senior team, it's about mental strength and determination also qualities needed to succeed at the very top of the game and the U23s need to display to progress into Koemans team, imho the comments are justified.
64 Posted 05/01/2017 at 20:23:49
65 Posted 05/01/2017 at 20:34:26
Yes, one of my favourites. Maybe also because he's a short-arse like me.
66 Posted 05/01/2017 at 20:57:26
67 Posted 05/01/2017 at 21:15:56
68 Posted 05/01/2017 at 21:30:07
I don't think Fonte would be a good buy now. He was dropped for the game against Arsenal and maybe only came back for the Blues game when Van Dijk got suspended.
69 Posted 05/01/2017 at 21:46:19
Just shows how wrong you can be.
70 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:15:12
Perhaps Koeman is having a 'Road to Damascus' moment and we are now going to see plenty of Davies, Holgate, Walsh, Galloway et al from here on, I doubt it.
71 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:36:23
Not that I want Del Boy to go, but, an exciting buy.
72 Posted 05/01/2017 at 22:55:02
Hopefully, he will do his talking on the pitch
73 Posted 05/01/2017 at 23:12:20
74 Posted 06/01/2017 at 00:13:46
75 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:22:42
Just a thought... Good luck to the Blues on Saturday.
76 Posted 06/01/2017 at 01:42:57
77 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:29:13
78 Posted 06/01/2017 at 03:33:12
Huh? Koeman brought through 6 players at Soton in only a couple of years. Moyes brought in ... um ... what 2 or 3 in over a decade? Ossie, Barkley and um maybe Hibbert? Not to mention that our youth coach publicly stated Moyes wanted very little to do with Everton's youth players.
On top of that Koeman started two of our youngsters in a 3-nil win, in our very last game and has publicly stated that Barry is too old and slow and can only be used sparingly.
79 Posted 06/01/2017 at 04:25:41
But to be fair Moyes also brought through Rooney, Anichebe, Vaughn and Rodwell, and also gave game time to many other who didn't really make it such as Chadwick (ended up in the lower leagues), Jose Baxter (Oldham), Goslling.
Can't say he didn't try! But most of these good kids just aren't going to make it.
80 Posted 06/01/2017 at 06:57:48
83 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:19:25
84 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:28:10
Matthew (# 63) It's difficult to value our U23 players as they remain unknown to most, including potential buyers. Matthew Pennington was loaned to Coventry in 2014-15 and voted their young player of the season, we were told at the time he should have won their player of the season. Any 19-year-old English CB, who has played >30 senior games, received such accolades, good physical specimen must surely be worth £5M ,... and he's rarely mentioned these days in discussions re: our top, young talent. We sold a 21-year-old English centre-back in the summer for £47.5M, Holgate for £7M would be a steal.
That we paid £7.5M for Lookman doesn't make the lad any better than our young talent. I am frustrated that Koeman does not give opportunities to Liam Walsh, Harry Charsley, Antonee Robinson and the other very promising talent in the U23 squad whom I hope are spurred on by Lookman's arrival, continue to excel and leave Koeman with no option than to be given their opportunities.
The named lads are more worthy of a place in the 1st team squad than the likes of Cleverley, Lennon (judged on his recent performances) and (sorry to say) some of the more senior players who simply no longer have the legs for the high-energy game that Koeman seemingly wants to play.
Final thought who do you think would win in a match where Rom and Gana to play for the U23s vs the 1st team?
85 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:56:32
A step up for most players from the Everton youth team in the past was to play for the Everton Reserve side. That's where they learned to compete and play with seasoned and experienced pros. The likes of the greats such as Joe Royle and Colin Harvey came through this type of football, before embarking on fantastic careers with the Everton first team.
86 Posted 06/01/2017 at 15:58:21
Besides, that money seems to me too much for a player who never played in the Premier League. I think they have stolen us in the face.
Finally, we started with Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin to finish with Ademola Lookman. Shameful.
87 Posted 07/01/2017 at 22:08:49
If Joe Royle and Colin Harvey are your case-in-point examples from the last 50 years, what does that tell you?