Ademola Lookman has moved to dispel the notion that he is unhappy at Everton, insisting that he is content as long as he is playing.
The 21-year-old returned to first-team action for the first time in a month during Saturday's FA Cup win over Lincoln City in which he scored his first Blues goal just minutes after smashing a shot just over Josh Vickers' bar.
It was a reminder of the threat that Lookman can bring to the side and the options of which Marco Silva was deprived over the festive period while the forward sat out with an injury picked up in training.
The Liverpool Echo's Sam Carroll caught up with the former Charlton player after the narrow win over the Imps and asked him whether it was difficult returning to Everton after his successful loan spell with Red Bull Leipzig last year.
Lookman scored five times in 12 appearances in the Bundesliga and that led to Red Bull making a concerted effort to sign him on a permanent basis last summer. Everton rebuffed the attempts and with his future uncertain under new management at Goodison, there were suggestions that Lookman would have preferred to have returned to Germany.
"Football is football,” he told the Echo. “I love playing football and I am glad to do that every single day. It is not a case of me being sad. I am just happy to play football
"People said at the time I was crazy to go to Germany but I saw it as another experience and another learning curve for me. I'm glad I did go.
"It was different football, but I wouldn't say it was daunting. It was just another experience, take it in your stride and get used to it.
"I learnt about being more of a goal threat and showing what I can do. Showing my worth to the team - that is the next step for me.
"It was just one of those cases," Lookman said of coming back to play for Silva. "I wasn't unhappy. I had no choice but to work hard. It's my job. I love to do it wherever I am. I have to work hard. I'm happy here."
In Silva's post-match press conference on Saturday, the manager intimated that Lookman would have been very much involved over the Christmas period had he not succumbed to injury.
Having been forced to be patient as Bernard and Theo Walcott cemented the first-choice wing spots earlier in the season, Lookman had made a strong case for more opportunities as a starter, not just with the impact he made off the bench but through his competition's erratic form.
“When Lookman got injured, he was in a very, very good moment," Silva said, "playing more and more and was really close to achieving [a regular place] in our eleven.
“He got the injury at maybe his best moment of the season. Now he is coming back and of course now he is in the best conditions, I gave him a game.
“He's a different player than our other wingers, he can come inside and play in a different way — more or less the same profile as Bernard.
“[Today] was important to him, not just the goal but in some moments what he gave us.”
Reader Comments (67)
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1 Posted 07/01/2019 at 05:53:10
2 Posted 07/01/2019 at 06:47:55
3 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:09:56
4 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:19:48
5 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:43:36
6 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:57:49
Is my memory playing tricks?
Didn't he score on his debut, with more or less his first touch. after coming on as a very late sub against Man City in the 4-0 defeat under Koeman?
7 Posted 07/01/2019 at 08:13:27
8 Posted 07/01/2019 at 08:59:36
Its all on his shoulders now though.
When you get in you have to keep on performing.
9 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:05:29
He's got ability and potentially he's a top talent but he needs games and to remember it's a team game. You have to work hard for the team to get and maintain your place.
Personally I hope he develops quickly in to a top class player and he stays with us a long time playing well in a successful team but there's something about it that doesn't feel right.
I think given a chance he'd jump at a move for more regular football. For some reason I can't see him staying with us for more than a couple of years max.
10 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:11:53
A forward has to be a threat by scoring, has to be available and in the right positions, and has to have a good pass-completion rate. Walcott, Richarlison, and Tosun are not good enough. Lookman, as a sub, was having more touches than Walcott. His weakness is tracking back and maintaining an offensive shape, but the lack of engagement and threat of Walcott now outweigh this weakness.
Both Richarlison and Tosun where ineffective subs and contributed to the now weakness in midfield coaching. Calvert-Lewin is more effective than Richarlison as a centre-forward and better than Tosun. Bernard is better at passing and interplay. His goal against Lincoln was well taken.
Lookman should start from now on.
11 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:14:29
If after a decent run of games and a fair chance to prove himself, he fails to deliver, then sell him and let him play elsewhere. But I think he's a really exciting prospect who may not always smile as much as Niase, but he'll make us fans smile more than Theo currently does.
12 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:18:17
never leave him out of the squad, play him with Bernard
and Charlie ( as long as Charlie pulls himself together and remembers its a mans game) and have them swapping and intermingling throughout the game, bring
some much needed movement upfront.
13 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:26:51
My one worry is his lack of goal celebration on Saturday it was like he'd scored against Charlton!
14 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:31:11
Firstly, he needs a run of games and by this I mean 10-15 games where he starts, regardless of his performance. If Theo gets this treatment, then why not Lookman.
Secondly, he needs to play well and stop sulking. There's no point running around with a face like a slapped arse; just get on with it and let your feet do the talking.
Thirdly, we, as in the fans, need to make him feel appreciated. A few songs or chants should help him feel a bit more wanted and definitely NO BOOING if he has a few misplaced shots or goes missing occasionally.
And voilà! A recipe for a top forward at our club. Probably won't happen though
15 Posted 07/01/2019 at 10:04:53
He has poise, balance and a natural confidence in his ability. He is a player who is mentally alert and can create a bit of time on the ball because of it. He has an eye for goal and is not afraid to get a powerful shot away. On top of that he can go on a dribble and can ghost pass average static defenders.His progress will be being monitored by a few top clubs. Wenger had him in his notebook a couple of years ago.
I think, and I am hoping Lookman will be used more and more and become a regular starter and a great success for us. It will help him no end if we have a class regular Centre Forward for him to link with. I am not sure Richarlison is ready for that role , maybe in a 2 or 3 years time. I think we need top class CF now and I am hoping Mr B can do some wheeling and dealing and pull a rabbit out of the hat.
16 Posted 07/01/2019 at 11:36:16
I know sometimes when he's rarely been given the full 90 minutes, there has been criticism that he hasn't been as effective. That criticism could be levelled at any one of the other players too.
I appreciate that, unless a player is exceptional, they can have games where they are less effective, but is it down to the player alone, or collectively the others round him too?
I also believe that Walcott who has been very poor this season, could easily give way for Lookman, but rather than banish him altogether, I believe he could surprise us a makeshift striker.
There is no denying he has got a goal or two in him, but at least try him there, so if we can't get a striker in the Jan window, which is never easy, at least it gives another quicker option than Tosun.
17 Posted 07/01/2019 at 12:13:51
I agree with Dave - a front three of him, Richy and Bernard could be exiting!
19 Posted 07/01/2019 at 14:58:46
Eddie #13, I actually like a low-key celebration, especially when it's an early goal in a home game against lower-league competition. I certainly wasn't expecting him to run to the corner flag and pound his chest.
20 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:19:25
So I fully expect to see him there on Sunday...
21 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:22:53
Two years now and for me offers more bite and awareness, than Theo, who appears to have lost confidence. He must start the next game.
22 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:37:24
I suppose it is better than some of the ridiculous routines we see with all manner of hand jives and dance moves!
23 Posted 07/01/2019 at 16:24:48
24 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:06:07
25 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:14:52
On the downside, he may be another Julian Joachim, Sean-Wright Phillips, and look back on his late teens/early 20s as his heyday in a promising yet unfulfilling career. We will see.
26 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:26:16
He stands the ball up more, looks at the options. The Nike Exhibition stuff has been replaced by just getting past your man and doing the simple stuff. Being more direct.
27 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:42:10
Slippers, jumbo cords and a nice sweater. Inoffensive and all round lovely chap. Ademola Lookman has a bit more cutting edge about him, he is out to prove himself and Walcott will be sidelined because of it.
He will probably be very nice about it and be back at Southampton in the summer.
28 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:02:10
Anyway, I really like the kid. Id have him on the pitch every game, be that off the bench or starting. Hes probably a sub if everyone plays to their best, but with most misfiring, hes worth a run of starts.
29 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:13:25
30 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:16:22
31 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:23:41
He has the ability to be a top class player and we need to help him achieve that by not getting on his back like we did with Stones, Barkley, Davies and Calvert-Lewin.
32 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:32:50
I was near you and I thought there was a delay because we weren't sure if the ref would blow for the goal because the Lincoln lot tried palming it out from behind the line so it might be a penalty instead... it took the gloss off the goal for fans and players alike but I thought we cheered him well when it was clear it stood.
33 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:32:59
Apparently came off a plane from Saudi Arabia staggering under a mix of booze and pills, and cursing up a storm after he went through the wrong gate.
It happened three weeks ago. He spent the night in jail. This past Friday he paid $126 in fines.
What a guy, eh?
34 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:40:36
And to think someone has been paying him 300 grand a week to indulge in that every week instead of getting him help.
It amazes me how clubs pay millions for players and million in wages and don't even have a sort of "minder" that could for comparative peanuts keep them on the straight and narrow.
35 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:45:52
36 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:49:01
37 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:57:18
I genuinely believe this lad will be one of England's main men in the coming years and, whilst (as described earlier) he is a tiny bit like Raheem, I think he has the potential to be better overall.
He can score from distance with both feet, has great vision and an ability to drop his shoulder and glide past players with consummate ease.
If he doesn't start the next game any faith zig have in Sílva is gone as he now needs 5 games minimum as a starter to really show his worth.
For me if we could have him floating rather than a classic winger then all the better. Give him a free forward role and he will pick teams off.
38 Posted 07/01/2019 at 20:10:51
There is definitely a player in there, it's his off-the-ball work-rate that I question.
Even the top players all work their socks off now in the Premier League.
39 Posted 07/01/2019 at 20:58:14
I don't think anyone will be getting on Lookman's back because we haven't seen enough of him.
For me, Davies and Calvert-Lewin don't belong in the same category as Barkley and Stones who, even at the age of 20, were vastly better players than Calvert-Lewin and Davies.
40 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:28:15
41 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:28:20
42 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:57:00
As Mrs Brown might say... 'That's Nice.'
43 Posted 08/01/2019 at 00:34:00
Until the Everton hierarchy cut out the sentimental hiring of people like Big Dunc, these players are all going to stagnate.
44 Posted 08/01/2019 at 07:29:10
I think Silva has done well to blood him slowly and I believe Lookman will be spearheading our attack in the future. Let's hope he gets a good run to develop and sync with the others.
45 Posted 08/01/2019 at 08:11:03
46 Posted 08/01/2019 at 09:11:15
47 Posted 08/01/2019 at 13:45:54
I'm more concerned with the sentimental hiring of the other background staff that will follow whoever the manager is at the time.
48 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:01:26
49 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:10:29
50 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:20:29
51 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:38:20
He has everything it takes to be a successful Premier League player. This is the guy who had the fortitude and self-confidence to rebel against his coach, go to an unfamiliar league where they do not speak English and make a success of it at a young age.
Lookman has the tough winning attitude this team needs.
52 Posted 08/01/2019 at 15:48:48
53 Posted 08/01/2019 at 17:51:31
54 Posted 09/01/2019 at 01:02:03
For starters, he has more raw talent than any of our players under 23, and seems to enjoy taking players on. Most of the rest of the squad could do with a fraction of that courage.
Secondly, he wasn't a farm product (Davies) or bought for a nominal sum (Calvert-Lewin); he was a hot prospect bought for an eight-figure fee. In my understanding, I'd expect the club to want to get value for their money by developing him into a star player. Instead they seem to not really care whether he stays or goes. Very odd indeed.
For the record, I'm not having a dig at Davies or Calvert-Lewin when I use them as comparative examples. The three of them just happen to cover the three most common scenarios of players joining the senior side.
55 Posted 09/01/2019 at 13:46:20
56 Posted 09/01/2019 at 15:00:22
Take anything written in that recyclable garbage with a mountain of salt.
57 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:22:27
58 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:50:13
Funny that it's reported in the places you mentioned though.
59 Posted 09/01/2019 at 17:01:15
He finished the 2018 season as the Brazilian league's leading goal scoring, even though playing for a struggling Santos.
He was a big money signing to Inter Milan a couple of years ago, but has hardly had a look-in since. Loaned to Benfica (where again he barely featured) then to Santos for 2018, Inter have just loaned him to another Brazilian team for 2019 - one of the giants, Flamengo.
So cross that one off your wish list.
60 Posted 09/01/2019 at 18:34:13
And the Goal.com writer who also reported the rumor is also Nigerian. So that's the explanation.
61 Posted 09/01/2019 at 22:23:31
62 Posted 10/01/2019 at 00:10:29
63 Posted 10/01/2019 at 00:52:07
64 Posted 10/01/2019 at 17:15:51
Vlasic is another Mirallas. Quick to point out the obvious flaws in a manager, but blind to his own shortcomings.
65 Posted 10/01/2019 at 19:37:02
I don't think we have any idea what his shortcomings are. But he's absolutely right about the football under The Fat Head.
66 Posted 10/01/2019 at 20:11:29
"Most chaotic season in decades." Not sure I would agree with that. 2011 deadline day when we sold Arteta and forgot to replace him. 2008 opening day we started with Jagielka, Baines and 16 y/o Jose Baxter in midfield due to lack of signings/money/options. 2004 lowest ever points total of 39. 1999-2002, the entire Walter Smith era. The 1998 season of John Oster and co. almost relegated. The Mike Walker era, etc etc
But as for Vlasic himself. He claimed to be Everton's best midfielder when he went out on loan. He also said he would prefer to play in Spain. He today says Everton would "take the first offer" for him as they have shown by signing Barcelona players that they "don't care" about players from "small leagues." So on one hand he is saying he is our "best player," now he is throwing in the towel when faced with competition coming in from Spain -- the league where he thinks he belongs anyway. Seems to me he is like a spoilt kid used to being a big fish in a small pond. He thought Everton was a small enough pond for him to stand out but he is throwing a tantrum when faced with bigger name players.
67 Posted 10/01/2019 at 21:06:59
68 Posted 11/01/2019 at 23:02:36
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