Ademola Lookman has been speaking of how quickly he has been made to feel part of the team at Everton following his first start for the club since arriving from Charlton Athletic last month.
The 19-year-old was signed for an initial fee of £7.5m from League One Charlton and, after impressing in training, was given a few minutes by Ronald Koeman just 10 days later at the end of the home game against Manchester City to make his debut.
Lookman scored with his first real involvement and almost repeated the feat at Stoke last Wednesday but narrowly missed after Tom Davies' header had been saved by Lee Grant.
The Londoner made his full debut in the 6-3 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and played 70 minutes, offering plenty more glimpses of his talent and the creativity he can bring to the team.
It's not surprising given Evertonians' love of skilful players that he has quickly become a popular player among the fans, something that Lookman acknowledged in his post-match comments.
“It's been brilliant to come to a club like Everton with the supporters here and how much history the club has is unbelievable,” he said.
“The Evertonians have been brilliant since the first minute I walked in the door here. They've supported me so well and thinking back to when I scored my first goal, the support was just crazy. I haven't had anything like it before and I'm just glad they've taken to me.
“The players here are quality and I'm just happy to be part of that and to be able to contribute to the team. I already feel like I'm improving every single day. I'm learning a lot from the manager, players and coaches here.”
“I think I did alright [against Bournemouth]. I lost the ball a few times and I was at fault for their second goal so it's something I'll look back on and try to rectify.”
Lookman's manager, meanwhile, is predicting big things for him as he learns to adapt to the Premier League. Koeman hasn't shied away from blooding him early and he can expect plenty of involvement in the first team over the remainder of the season based on his first few appearances.
“The young boy has a lot of qualities,” Koeman said. “He is clever. But in the first half he lost two actions that he took risks to play one against one in a part of the pitch that is not possible.
“But I like that he's clever, he likes to play but he needs to adapt to the intensity of the game. He is not the most physical or strongest, and you need to play and move. He will be a great player, I am sure about that.
“We will help and support the young boy, and we will give him game time to improve and develop the qualities of the player. Sometimes that can be as a substitute but (on Saturday) I let him start because I like to see he is that player.
“I'm Dutch, it is not about age in football, it is about qualities in football!”
Reader Comments (65)
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1 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:29:29
2 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:48:05
He will be fantastic for us.
3 Posted 06/02/2017 at 16:58:14
4 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:14:42
Definitely got something special though.
5 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:15:55
6 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:16:56
Koeman is obviously impressed and that bodes well too.
7 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:22:14
Well done to Steve Walsh if he's one of your gems, you're earning your coin
8 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:35:19
I'll get really excited when I see the end product but the lad does look to have something special!!
I'd give him a go just behind the striker were he can drop off and use his twinkle toes to good effect!
9 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:56:34
10 Posted 06/02/2017 at 17:56:34
11 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:11:13
12 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:17:24
Can't wait to have the youngsters i.e. Holgate, Davies, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin etc against the Red Shite, they'll be more experienced yet have that fearlessness that comes with being a youngster... and to anyone who moans about bringing up the derby already, I know it's early but so what!
13 Posted 06/02/2017 at 18:51:58
Hope he continues to get selected and the form of Lukaku becomes infectious.
14 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:03:13
16 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:09:36
He showed he's got end product against Man City with a great finish. Granted, he needs to do it regularly but, for a 19-year-old coming to the Premier League from League One, I'd say he's settled in just fine and we will hopefully see him mature into a real top player over the next few years.
17 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:19:25
Seriously, he's going to have to put some beef on to survive in the Premier Leaague, as he will get battered as an attacker if he doesn't. Little flicks like the one he did on Saturday will get the likes of Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross wound up and salivating at the prospect of giving him a good kicking unless he hardens up.
18 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:26:07
Whatever happened to the romance of football? There have been many wee players who have given the likes of Huth and Shawcross a merry dance over the years, Messi is no giant is he?
I don't want a team of robots going through the motions, playing like American Footballers strictly adhering to thousands of charts and 'plays' and unable to express themselves individually. As long as any skillful player realises that the team comes first it is fine by me to see them show those skills.
Similarly Ross celebrating before scoring has annoyed a few, why? Football is supposed to be entertainment and I hope we see lots of it in the remaining games.
19 Posted 06/02/2017 at 19:28:03
I honestly think our fans can be far too quick to judge on our young stars. Stones, Lukaku and Ross have often been criticised in the past, many of our fans decided age didn't matter. Stones made us a £40m+ profit, and Rom and Ross are the heart beat of our team.
Let's allow the kids time to develop, try to take Into account that both on- and off-the-field mistakes will be made.
Although many of us were a little disappointed to see both Holgate and even more so Davies to be left on the bench, Ron was able to give Lookman a start that he says he's deserved.
I agree that too many kids can't all be blooded at once, so resting the two young lads allowed for another to show his ability.
Over the next few years, I believe we have many kids capable of becoming Premier League stars, we just need someone to nurture there talent in the correct way.
Ron has already given Davies, Holgate, Lookman and Calvert-Lewin chances, let's hope this trend continues.
The future really is looking blue.
20 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:09:19
I seem to remember him parading the Jules Rimet trophy around Goodison Park... he was fearless at a time when centre-halves ate little lads for breakfast.
Good luck, Ademola, from a 'little un'.
21 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:25:57
22 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:35:09
But I think we can all see we have a player on our hands.
23 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:47:30
If you know you're good enough to even try such a thing 10 minutes into your full debut, then I predict we're going to have some exciting times watching this lad's career unfold in front of our eyes.
24 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:50:47
25 Posted 06/02/2017 at 20:53:54
26 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:04:21
He has confidence, a sublime first touch, and is as quick as a flash over the first 5 yards.
28 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:38:08
29 Posted 06/02/2017 at 21:57:40
Elusive I think is the right word to describe him. I see him as a inside forward playing off the number 9. Not a winger for me.
With Middlesboro up next, I think he will retain his place; like Bournemouth, not overly physical and naturally more space away from home.
Faded and became invisible as Bournemouth asserted themselves in the 2nd half. A couple of starts then back to the bench with him I think.
Rom clearly thinks he's in a big brother programme with young 'Mola. Unusually for Rom, he is quite happy to pass to this kid. Nice to see!
30 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:04:28
I'll give you one thing, Steavey you don't mince words.
31 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:14:46
32 Posted 06/02/2017 at 22:54:20
33 Posted 06/02/2017 at 23:02:17
35 Posted 06/02/2017 at 23:20:24
By the way, seems young Lookman had a better weekend than Geri:
AC Milan 0 - Sampdoria 1 (he hit the post though)
36 Posted 06/02/2017 at 00:00:34
I noticed he'd often get drawn towards the ball when there was space to stretch them in-behind, sometimes being on top of his team-mate. With coaching, there is no limit to how good this kid can get. His feet are unreal. Very exciting.
37 Posted 06/02/2017 at 00:17:03
The time will come, not too far away, when Lookman will let himself relax and be himself. The 'cheeky Charlie' in him will help him to do what comes naturally to him. I think we are all in for future treats with this lad.
I'm not sure but maybe Steavey (#14) was referring to Lookman. Just before the game kicked off, he lined up on the left wing, and stood perfectly still, bowed his head. Two or three Everton players came over to him to give him words of encouragement, he listened to them without looking up, then carried on in his pose, then blessed himself and prepared himself ready to start the game.
He didn't do too bad... early days, I think the best is yet to come.
38 Posted 07/02/2017 at 01:05:25
He doesn't seem to be a wimp, he won't melt if somebody tackles him, don't let the baby face fool you, he's about a stone and a half heavier than David Silva for more or less the same height... and he seems to get by.
39 Posted 07/02/2017 at 02:40:03
Rom seems to have taken to him too. Hopefully not trying to persuade him to have the same agent.
Patrick's post as always nailed it.
40 Posted 07/02/2017 at 05:32:04
41 Posted 07/02/2017 at 06:48:16
42 Posted 07/02/2017 at 07:10:44
Lookman seems to have the right attitude and that's something Walsh is known for relishing, though I wonder if Walsh's credentials are on the wane with Leicester currently crumbling?
Good luck, Ademola. Work hard, stay grounded and enjoy the game.
43 Posted 07/02/2017 at 08:25:03
If this doesn't bring a smile to your face nothing will.
On his debut!
44 Posted 07/02/2017 at 08:35:01
I always say you can see a good player, age regardless, as soon as he sets foot on that pitch.
Rooney had it at 16, as soon as he walked out for his first team debut you just knew we had a player and Ademola Lookman is the same, you can see he's not your average 19-year-old.
45 Posted 07/02/2017 at 09:17:52
46 Posted 07/02/2017 at 09:47:30
47 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:29:53
I doubt there's an Evertonian in existence that isn't happy with him right now.
48 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:30:36
49 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:35:57
50 Posted 07/02/2017 at 10:37:23
51 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:27:25
52 Posted 07/02/2017 at 11:33:08
He seems very humble and religious and as Walsh and Ron have said he has a great attitude. You get the feeling he's there to learn and work hard and, despite having great skills, doesn't seem to have the petulance that Geri had for example. With Rom going through a good spell then he's come into the team at a good time for him to use his skill and pace to express himself.
I was thinking: Can you imagine Ross trying that crazy backheel pass if we were not playing well or struggling down the table? It's great to play with no fear and confidence and we're all enjoying the season at the moment despite no silverware on the table.
53 Posted 07/02/2017 at 12:05:22
He signalled to come off so clearly he was tiring in the second half and that contributed to their second goal. Not bad for a surprise signing for the U23s.
54 Posted 07/02/2017 at 12:32:37
55 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:23:34
56 Posted 07/02/2017 at 13:56:18
The slightly maverick way of his play probably comes from not having it coached out of him at an early age. I also read that he has 9 As for his GCSEs, so he has some brains as well.
I also wouldn't be surprised if he gets an England call-up before the end of the year to keep him out of the reaches of the Nigerians.
57 Posted 07/02/2017 at 14:08:48
Ademola is unlikely to be given that scope by Koeman. Even though his best position might be behind the striker, I suspect that he'll be used wide left and cutting inside. Not sure he'll start too many games yet, but a great prospect.
59 Posted 07/02/2017 at 14:56:31
So I don't buy the theory that Lookman's level-headedness, grounding, and being prepared to do unusual things with a ball, is because of his background in Sunday league, etc. It just strikes me as theory.
It's equally possible that the lad is just naturally a nice guy, which seems to be the case for Davies, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, and many others.
60 Posted 07/02/2017 at 17:27:32
Coleman, Holgate, Funes Mori, Baines
Davies, Barkley, Bolasie
61 Posted 07/02/2017 at 17:41:55
So before that he was only training a few days a week, maybe as some have said this is helping him have the cheeky instinctive aspects to his game, but also lacks the positioning etc of someone who has come through the academy.
Hopefully we will get the best of both worlds and he becomes a great. :-)
62 Posted 07/02/2017 at 19:57:34
63 Posted 07/02/2017 at 20:45:12
64 Posted 07/02/2017 at 20:45:13
65 Posted 08/02/2017 at 03:44:22
I love the Boss stating he is Dutch and yes that Nation knows how to play exciting football. Yes as a supporter of Charlton Athletic (and lol don't state why registered on this site) just love genuine teams with really genuine supporters and wish you well indeed.
I always loved your ground and yes very unique with the church in the corner and good luck for the rest of season and beyond. Yes I have written to Everton Football Club and was trying to track down a life long Everton, a really great friend of mine by the name of Mr Clive Bishop, who I have lost contact with.
Yes, he lived in Sidcup S E London and I also knew his late Brother Mr Alan Bishop, who sadly lost his life at such a young age several years ago. If anyone reading this can contact the club, I would be most appreciative.
In the meantime and sorry if boring, but have been a supporter of CAFC for well over 50 years and just wonder in my life time if we will ever get back to the Premier League.
All the best you Blues and thanks so much and loved coming to your ground so much.
66 Posted 08/02/2017 at 10:08:04
67 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:42:34
68 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:00:43
69 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:51:15
I really don't get the overhyping of young players in football. Its not a positive, if anything, it applies too much pressure on young people not equipped to handle it. Look at Stones. His head grew a lot faster than his talent, and made us a lot of money, but he was never close to what people touted him as.
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