Ademola Lookman says he is feeling more settled at Everton now that the uncertainty of the summer transfer window is out of the way but he wants more opportunity in Marco Silva's team.
The 20-year-old winger, a £10m signing from Charlton Athletic in January last year, spent the second half of last season on loan at Red Bull Leipzig and was the subject of a concerted effort by the Bundesliga club to land him on a permanent deal.
The deadline passed with Blues having held firm on their stance that Lookman was not for sale but his international manager, England U21s coach Aidy Boothroyd, has pointed out to him that he had visibly lost some focus in the meantime.
With Theo Walcott having arrived at Goodison Park in January this year, followed by the arrivals of Richarlison and Bernard during the close season, Lookman is facing much more competition at Everton and he has made just three appearances so far this season.
After an excellent performance for England in their 7-0 drubbing of Andorra, he says that he intends to keep working hard in the hope that he will get the chances to show Silva that he is deserving of more game time.
“[Hearing criticism] is very important,” Lookman is quoted as saying by PA Sport in regard to Boothroyd's observations, “because you can get caught up in this bubble. When someone tells you, is real with you and tells you the truth it allows you to think and bring yourself back to reality.
“He spoke to me about it but I've just tried to put it behind me and move forward. I'm at Everton and I will do my best and train hard.
“I did [think the criticism was fair]. I feel more settled now; the transfer window is behind me so I'm getting my head down and working hard.
“You want to play; that's my objective, and I hope to do that soon. What's out of my hands is out of my hands.
“I couldn't tell you [when I will get more opportunities at Everton]. I don't know. There's competition but I'm always in competition with myself. I can only affect what I can affect and that's all I'm working on.
'I wouldn't call it frustration. It's just opportunity, I haven't had as much opportunity as I would have liked and I need to keep going forward and working hard. I can't just stop, I've got to keep going.'
Reader Comments (63)
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1 Posted 14/10/2018 at 18:18:03
2 Posted 14/10/2018 at 18:21:59
The chap is 20 years old and has lots of potential. Let's support him and hope he can fulfil it with us! He could be a real diamond.
3 Posted 14/10/2018 at 18:44:48
I think there's brilliance in him and I hope he gets every chance to develop. It's all up to him now.
4 Posted 14/10/2018 at 18:58:39
Now, straight from the horse's mouth, Lookman states that he wants to put it behind him, get his head down and move forward. That admission in itself shows that the lad was distracted by the transfer speculation.
To be honest, I don't blame the lad in some respects. He went to Germany and made some waves. The young lad from Man City who's at Dortmund has just got into the England squad so Lookman was quite entitled to feel that a move to Germany would fast-track his career. At the same time, under the new M&M regime, he got a lot of love and affirmation in the summer, not just from management but also from the fans who gave him a rousing applause when he came on in a pre-season game at Goodison, but he looked languid and indifferent like he was doing everything he could to get his Leipzig move.
I really rate Lookman and I hope that this puts the end to the matter and he now backs up his words with performances because I have no doubts he has the ability to play a big part for us this season. For me, there's not much between him and Walcott, and Lookman should be coming on from the bench if either of our wide players is drifting out of the game. I was disappointed that he didn't come on for the last 15-20 mins against Leicester because I felt Walcott was drifting out of the game.
This interview is good news because it shows an acknowledgment from Lookman and a concerted effort to work hard. I hope Silva reciprocates and gives Lookman his chances but, from what Silva has said, I have no doubts that we will be seeing more of Lookman in the coming weeks and months.
5 Posted 14/10/2018 at 19:16:15
He hasn't lost me yet but I want to see fire in the belly as well as skill which, to be fair, he showed away at Anfield last season.
6 Posted 14/10/2018 at 19:24:01
The bottom line is that, in order to get more regular playing time, he needs to show himself as better than Walcott.
7 Posted 14/10/2018 at 19:34:30
I want Ademola to be part of an Everton winning trophies because he does have something special. He can kick a ball properly for a start, something not all of the first team squad can do — as amazing as that sounds. He has pace, he knows where the net is, and he has self-belief.
I have immeasurably more confidence in Silva than his immediate predecessors but maybe Lookman is one of those players, like Ross, who responds better to the carrot than the stick and I hope that Marco can encourage him, coach him, and play him when he's knocking on the door.
8 Posted 14/10/2018 at 19:35:06
He wants to play and I like his hunger; he is an amazing talent in my eyes and we are just scraping the surface with this boy. I don't blame him for wanting first-team football and, if he knuckles down like he appears to be doing and takes on the right advice, then we have a special talent on the books.
9 Posted 14/10/2018 at 19:50:56
10 Posted 14/10/2018 at 20:02:36
If he cannot at the moment replace a first-eleven starter, he needs to work hard. Time and maturity will then hopefully make him 'undroppable'.
But Ademola needs to realise this is not the Bundesliga – it is the Premier League... and many promising young England players are in the same position.
11 Posted 14/10/2018 at 20:52:38
Playing the 'Big Time Charlie' may or may not see him 'make it' but, at my club, I prefer players who want the shirt for the right reasons. Not 'five-minute wonders' who think they have a 'God-given right' to it.
12 Posted 14/10/2018 at 21:06:41
He might get game time as a sub if we are chasing the game. But I think he is far away from the starting 11. I am not overly impressed by Walcott but I still don't see Silva trusting Lookman.
13 Posted 14/10/2018 at 21:11:17
If Ademola can emulate Walcott, then he'd have had some career.
14 Posted 14/10/2018 at 21:16:11
"He needs the club to support him in the way it did not support Ross Barkley."
Curious as to your thinking on this?
15 Posted 14/10/2018 at 21:33:05
The kids got bags of ability, was unsettled, had the right to want a move to Germany were he was being given chances, but should be happy that the fans seem to be behind him.
Fact is he should take a lot of positives that a club like Everton turned down £20m+ for him, I doubt very much it's an offer we would refuse for many players who are often unable to even make the bench when fit.
I believe the kid must have annoyed the hierarchy at the club with what appeared to be a poor attitude, or at least a lack of commitment. He was left out and told he had to knuckle down (as per comments in the Echo from Silva himself), but can not expect to simply walk into a team in a position where we are strong.
The flip side is if Silva turns down the bid he has to have an end game to accommodate him or that £20m odd could and should have been used elsewhere within the first team as were far from a team full of superstars.
My personal opinion, against most teams, we should play a versatile front 4 with Richarlison, Walcott, Bernard, and Lookman starting, with Sigardson and Gana in the centre of the park. This could change if Gomez looks up to it once fit, and options for tougher games especially away to the top 5 side would see one of the front 4 miss out with Davies or Schniederlin being deployed. Options from the bench would include Calvert-Lewin and Tosun.
16 Posted 14/10/2018 at 21:54:01
I think Gerard means Ross was given a lack of support at times, we sang his name when he or we as a team played well, and tore him a new arse with many fans calling for him to be dropped or sold as soon as he or we as a team played poorly.
Imo any team Ross Barkley was in at Everton he was always one of the strongest 5 or 6 players within that team, I believe there were always players who needed dropping or selling long before Ross's name should have entered any fans thoughts, let alone their voices!
I agree Ross wasn't endeared the way a true blue should be; Davies is starting to get similar flack now too.
17 Posted 14/10/2018 at 22:17:29
18 Posted 14/10/2018 at 22:39:12
To a man, they all flopped miserably and Harry was reported as saying he couldn't wait for the first one of them to again come knocking on his door with their complaints. I have similar thoughts about Lookman's moans.
20 Posted 14/10/2018 at 22:52:40
21 Posted 14/10/2018 at 23:02:55
22 Posted 14/10/2018 at 23:19:44
This is what Lookman has to train for. To come on as sub for Walcott and change games. To be ready to take over if Theo is unlucky and gets injured. The opportunities will come for him, there is no doubt. The lad has to show his professionalism and be ready, physically and mentally. One or two scorching half-hours as a sub would make Silva think about giving him a starting berth instead of Theo.
I'm in no doubt he has got the talent, he just needs to be 100% ready to make the most of the opportunities that will come over the next few months. I think we have an exciting young player; I am willing him to do well.
23 Posted 14/10/2018 at 23:40:05
We all make mistakes, it's how he comes out the other side and hopefully he knuckles down and shows Everton FC the respect we deserve for persevering with him.
24 Posted 15/10/2018 at 00:59:24
We talk about a 20-year old's development on the pitch. Let's keep in mind his development as an adult. Who does he have around him and what words are they whispering in his ear?
25 Posted 15/10/2018 at 01:20:17
Moral of the story: when you get a chance – take it as best you can... and if your best isn't good enough??? Tough.
You have to have a reputation before you get picked on it. Unless there are only 10 fit men, nobody is going to pick a whinging fannying-about merchant.
26 Posted 15/10/2018 at 01:43:25
27 Posted 15/10/2018 at 03:06:39
I want him to compete with Walcott and eventually oust him from the starting XI. Right now, I'd say that's unlikely... but we'll find out.
29 Posted 15/10/2018 at 07:35:43
You couldn't possibly be spouting absolute crapola based on pub chatter.
30 Posted 15/10/2018 at 08:50:34
I understand he sees the situation and just knows he'll get an earlier payday in Germany. Take the money, Rosco!
31 Posted 15/10/2018 at 09:29:39
The RS have Salah, Firmino, Mane, Shaqiri, Lallana. We have Richarlison, Walcott, Bernard and potentially Lookman who could play anywhere across the front line. Exciting!
32 Posted 15/10/2018 at 10:00:26
33 Posted 15/10/2018 at 11:04:47
Imo, Silva is giving him a hard time; only people at the club will know if it's deserved or not.
35 Posted 15/10/2018 at 12:02:57
I don't have any insight as to his attitude or how his brain works but, looking back to when I in my very early twenties I was a cocky johnny and thought I knew everything. I wonder how many posters/readers looking back were the same?
Only age gives you experience and wisdom if you're lucky. He obviously has the confidence, his trip to Germany. He has ability. So perhaps somebody has explained the situation to him and pointed out that you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar.
I hope he gets a proper head on him to be able to cope with what's needed to be part of a squad and to break into the first team. Only time will tell and perhaps we should cut him a bit of slack.
37 Posted 15/10/2018 at 12:56:48
Arguably only Bobby really gave him the chances consistently, but two other Everton managers and at least one England manager ( plus I believe a manager who had him on loan) were not entirely confident in him. Not in his ability, but in him executing what they thought him capable of doing or in doing what they asked of him.
Lookman seems to be a young man in a hurry. He too has had two Everton managers who did not or does not currently trust him to do what he is capable of or what they expect of him yet. Perhaps the fans role in this is that we are overly expectant of our young players who show a bit of quality early on.
I think he isn't ready yet. It's great that he is chomping at the bit, but it's also important for him to show patience. Fat Sam was too dismissive of him; he should have been managed better at that point, but equally, as a 20-year-old only 18 months into a contact at a major top-flight team he should really be looking at himself and what he needs to do to get to into the manager's thoughts.
I think For Ross the penny has dropped. Perhaps it's the coach? Wouldn't be surprising as he is rated very highly at motivating players, he was also deemed good enough to manage one of the country's best squads so you would expect him to be half decent!! That said, the coach in charge when he was signed wasn't best impressed with him!! So maybe, just maybe, he gets it now!
Again from fans side though, Calvert-Lewin comes in for a lot of stock on here. He isn't as exciting a player as Lookman but has similar pedigree regards his youth career. He gets into the first team regularly, is it because the manager is stupid? Or because he is doing what is expected of him?
We give Mola a lot of love on this site, but perhaps as a professional player, training and playing under the watchful eyes of professional coaches, he isn't in a place yet where they feel they can rely on him or that he is capable of we believe he is capable of regularly.
Good on him going away and applying himself, but he also signed a contract with a major sporting club, who showed a lot of faith in buying a 20-year-old for £10 million. Perhaps he should repay that faith, make himself a first team player. Does anyone really think that the manager is keeping him out of the starting 11 for any reason other than that he is not going to do better than the other players he picks?
38 Posted 15/10/2018 at 13:47:31
It's from now that we should be looking and seeing if the lad's attitude has changed, judge him from now and give him a walkover on the past. As a few have said, we all think we know it all when we are young. Let's see what he produces, starting from when he next plays in the first team.
39 Posted 15/10/2018 at 13:55:51
Well, Simon #16 guessed partially what I was getting at in that Ross like many other of our own lads coming through did not always enjoy the kind of patience from the crowd that expensive buys are often afforded. But my comment was based more on what I know of Ross as a person and of the club's inability or unwillingness to treat him accordingly.
I'm hesitant as I write this as I'll get the usual boorish posts as I did last time I spoke about Ross. Let's just say that this is a young man who responds to a friendly arm around the shoulder. All he ever wanted was to play for Everton and he did not “engineer” a move away. The arm around his shoulder was conspicuous by its absence.
The problem with Koeman not rating Barkley is well documented. It remains a moot point if a net outlay of £30m (£45m minus £15m received for Ross) has brought about much improvement but that ship has sailed. But who at Board level challenged Koeman's view? We did not have then and even less have now a CEO who understands football. This remains a huge flaw in the structure.
Behind the scenes, Everton employs a player liaison officer. When Ross was there this post was occupied by a guy who was a perfect example of how not to do the job. Everyone, especially the current CEO, knew this and yet for years he bumbled about doing whatever it was that he did.
What he did not do was to understand how each player ticks as an individual. Does a player have an agent who's giving him advice that might be more in the agent's own interest? If so how could he provide a counterweight in his own dealings with an individual player? What did this officer do to understand the background of any given player, or something of the psychology he needed to employ to make him happy?
The questions are rhetorical. People amble into jobs at Everton that they are unsuited and or unqualified for. My point is that, until this is rectified, we shall not see success on the pitch. The whole club has to be focused on that.
I don't know Ademola so I can't say what makes him tick but it is possible that he also responds better to encouragement. But I would guess there is a tough side to this kid who stood up to Allardyce and opted to go to quite a difficult German city rather than play at a lower level.
Has the club learned its lessons and will ensure that everything is done to support the lad to realise his potential at Everton? If they do that and he doesn't make it or he just wants out anyway then they've done their best. If, as happened too often before, we lose a talent because nobody noticed what was needed in the way of support then we'll get used to the likes of Ross playing for England – but not for Everton – or George Green regretting what might have been.
40 Posted 15/10/2018 at 14:18:49
I am so tired of seeing young talented Everton footballers being ripped by supporters because they do not live up to unreasonable expectations at such an early age.
We have seen what Lookman cam do in the Bundesliga with regular playing time and the confidence of the manager. Eventually he will come good. I hope the supporters give him time to succeed here instead of watching him succeed at his next club.
41 Posted 15/10/2018 at 14:28:48
In my opinion most young forwards and creative players need to be playing 4 or 5 games in a row to understand what is expected and to make those adjustments on the pitch.
They need to learn to be a team player, when to close down or track back, which isn't most forwards instinctive reactions, but that's what they need to learn to become better rounded and consistent team players.
The Premier league is too competitive to experiment in which is why the German league proved to be a great learning experience for him. He has the basic tools but it's knowing when and how to use them.
Walcott at his age was a far better prospect but hasn't improved that much as a player. How he stayed at Arsenal so long I'm not sure other than their bad management. He's at our level, a good Premier League player at a good club.
I'm hoping if Lookman is as good as I hope he is then he needs to keep battling away and prove it. My hope is Lookman copies Zaha. For several years a poor Walcott but last season blossomed into a top-class player, a player to be feared with our without the ball at 23/24 he's matured on and off the field. Maybe his failed move to Man Utd helped his career.
Barkley is at that stage now, had his move and I expect in the next 2 years he'll settle and prove to be top class.
Hopefully Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Dowell etc will prove to be top class within the next few years whilst remaining Everton players.
42 Posted 15/10/2018 at 14:57:51
Maybe Kenwright listens to some members of staff who surely would not be employed by Everton if it wasn't for the great man himself and maybe this is why the decision to let Barkley run down his contract and leave on the cheap was possibly made?
43 Posted 15/10/2018 at 15:16:35
Can he knuckle down and oust Theo? If it were on skill, yes, but it ain't. Walcott has many faults but he will be a reliable source of goals. Lookman less so as his game is more around beating players. He, as would I, should be hopeful that Walcott's past injury record allows him to take a chance in the side.
Personally I think both should play. Sigurdsson deep, Bernard at No 10 and a front three of Richarlison, Walcott, and Lookman.
My last thought is Lookman needs a run of games to adapt; he got that in Germany and his performances did improve.
I'm not sure Silva will give him that luxury.
44 Posted 15/10/2018 at 15:17:26
"We did not have then and even less have now a CEO who understands football. This remains a huge flaw in the structure."
Aside from the fact that I've seen nothing but positive from the club since Barrett-Baxendale became CEO, what does it matter whether she knows football or not? What's important is that Moshiri hires the right people who do know football.
The CEOs at the RS, Man City, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd aren't football people either. They're business people. In fact, I don't know of a single Premier League CEO who was originally a footballer or football expert.
45 Posted 15/10/2018 at 16:16:09
Let's also remember that Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Kenny and Holgate were over-exposed during the last 18 months due to the complete collapse in performance and standards of experienced professionals and mishandled by the Neanderthal management approach of Koeman and then Allardyce. As for Lookman, I like the fact he forged his own path last season with Leipzig rather than floundering in the Championship with Derby.
46 Posted 15/10/2018 at 16:33:14
47 Posted 15/10/2018 at 16:36:32
Inform yourself of how Hope University ranks academically, or how its newly appointed professor delivered a lecture relating to her work a few months ago but nobody was allowed to ask questions, or how a Ed D (normally the academic title of Dr is associated with a Ph D but clearly there are cheaper imitations available) can be awarded to someone who has never taught, or how the honours system works in this country. It's easier to get one than you might think if you know the right people.
And most of all, and I've raised this several times, where was the due diligence when she first came to the club? Who recommended her? Why were no references asked from her previous employer who discovered she was going to Everton only after the fact?
I would love to have a competent, independently minded CEO with the ambition, drive and passion for the club to live up to NSNO. That is my only agenda.
48 Posted 15/10/2018 at 19:57:01
I'll be the first to admit I don't know what a football club CEO does exactly, and I struggle to understand how a CEO impacts the performance on the pitch. However, I'm quite certain that our billionaire businessman majority owner vetted her thoroughly for the CEO job based on her seven years as COO if nothing else, and clearly he felt she was up to meeting the demands of the position. I'm willing to accept his expertise on the subject, and I believe Denise Barrett-Baxendale has shown drive and passion.
As for football business knowledge, I'd say that falls under the purview of the Director of Football, and Mr Brands has impressed the hell out of me with his expertise so far. Hasn't made a wrong move yet in my book.
49 Posted 15/10/2018 at 21:29:05
Personally I never got the hype with Ross, he has natural talent alright but it remains to be seen whether he will do the business consistently.
He is a frustrating player to say the least and there can only be so many times a manager can "put an arm" round you and tell you how good you are etc etc. When he was with us, he stood out because we were shite. He doesn't stand out so much at Chelsea because of the players he is surrounded by and that is were Everton as a club need to get to.
Anyway, he is a Chelsea player now, a move engineered by him and his agent so he is in the past for me.
Lookman will get his chance in the first team I believe because Silva rates him highly, so, providing he is doing the business in training, the opportunity will present itself and he has to grab it when it comes.
50 Posted 16/10/2018 at 06:52:37
From what I can see, the last reshuffle was an attempt to put in place a solid management structure with people employed to do specific jobs. Brands's job is to oversea all player matters and should be responsible for whoever is directly in charge of that job. If Brands isn't doing his job, the CEO should be addressing that issue.
51 Posted 16/10/2018 at 08:42:23
52 Posted 16/10/2018 at 13:44:57
53 Posted 16/10/2018 at 22:41:25
For too long we have been dysfunctional on the pitch, becoming habitually midtable, mediocre, and fragile when the going gets tough. While this has happened, we got heaps of management bullshit, all very tiresome and suggestive of bums on seats whose activities have little to do with ensuring success on a football pitch.
The CEO, EitC, and all that stuff, are to me irrelevant. They are a diversion which distracts us from the reality of prolonged football mediocrity. I continue to support Everton because of the history and the supporters. The other stuff would simply put me off entirely.
54 Posted 17/10/2018 at 13:56:15
55 Posted 17/10/2018 at 14:11:49
56 Posted 17/10/2018 at 14:42:09
You are already a supporter and hopefully not likely to change that!!
But EitC and the club's local efforts help secure future supporters. We haven't yet got to such a stage that match-attending support is irrelevant to clubs, so being present in the community helps to maintain the profile of the club.
And whilst to you the role of a CEO is not interesting, to a functioning business of the size of Everton, it is important. It's a multimillion-pound operation. Looking back at the good old days when football was a much more simple matter is lovely, but naive.
Unless we have a remarkable run around, like Leicester did, we are up against it trying to break into the top 6 – let alone the top 4. Should the guys running the club just say "Fuck it! We are not winning so let's sack it off. Don't bother because we are mediocre"?
I just don't get it. Sorry.
57 Posted 17/10/2018 at 14:49:42
He played well for us in patches. If he has turned the corner and keeps this up, then good for him. But it's a bit early to say yet whether he will keep it up. I hope he does for England because I think that's where the national team are lacking at present.
58 Posted 17/10/2018 at 15:01:41
We all hope that this lad will start to mature into a real asset to Everton as they do seem to be lacking still offensively.
59 Posted 17/10/2018 at 15:13:42
Jim #56, good post.
60 Posted 17/10/2018 at 15:55:25
The current CEO lacks the knowledge of football, business, Everton, and Evertonians to complement the work of the DoF. She was appointed in a hurry at a time when the club was hushing up a brown envelope incident connected to EItC (nothing to do with her, I must stress). After that, well flattery gets you anywhere when you're dealing with already conceited people.
Anybody who threatened her ascendancy, for example by not being thick, gullible or conceited, seemed to disappear mysteriously never to be heard of again, presumably due to gagging clauses in the pay-off. I left with no clauses and certainly no pay-off because I was sick of the hypocrisy and people not working very hard for high salaries. I keep on saying this: we/our club deserve(s) NSNO!
61 Posted 17/10/2018 at 20:11:01
Community issues, welfare, and all that stuff are of course important in a civilised society. But to me these things are simply irrelevant to what I wish to see from EFC, which is success on the pitch.
To be clear, the things are not irrelevant in themselves, just irrelevant to my support of EFC. In other words, if they didn't exist, it wouldn't make a jot of difference to me. And I'm not convinced that they make a jot of difference to EFC's prospects of becoming elite again.
62 Posted 18/10/2018 at 00:38:31
Just how long does a player get before it's decided if they're good enough or not? 6 months on the fringes should be enough, imo, to see if a player has what it takes to be a regular quality player for Everton.
Out of the current crop, Lookman looks the most likely to ever be playing at the very top but now is the time for him to start proving it.
63 Posted 18/10/2018 at 11:04:26
I get ya. and I agree that the only way we will realistically compete at the highest level again is with significant financial input.
64 Posted 18/10/2018 at 13:12:49
65 Posted 18/10/2018 at 17:52:42
I look at his attributes, he can take anyone on going either left or right.
Hes tricky and can drop a shoulder whenever he wants and pick cute balls.
Some of his shooting when he comes inside has been near excellent.
Hes not the quickest and lacks strength up to now.
To me thats not a winger.
I would love to see him do well for us. I know Sigurdsson is the number 10 now but depending on opposition and form, the team can be rearranged to get the best of Lookmans ability.
66 Posted 18/10/2018 at 18:50:14
67 Posted 23/10/2018 at 13:48:46
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