Lookman: I'm happy at Everton

Monday, 7 January, 2019 67comments  |  Jump to last

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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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 07/01/2019 at 05:53:10
Almost sounds like another who had little coaching under previous Everton managers. Hopefully, we'll now see him start more first team games.
Charles McCann
2 Posted 07/01/2019 at 06:47:55
Has the makings of a great player. Seems to be super confident in his own ability as a footballer which I think is a really good attribute. Needs to start ahead of Walcott from now on.
Anthony Flack
3 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:09:56
Why not play him down the centre ?
Rick Pattinson
4 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:19:48
Throw him in the team...we haven't seen enough of Lookman yet and as some players are underperforming so now is the time to show us what he's made of.
Sam Hoare
5 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:43:36
Good, he showed in a strong German League he’s capable of goals and assists. Like any young winger he’ll be inconsistent but Walcott has not exactly shone. Give Ademola a run of games please.
Hugh Jenkins
6 Posted 07/01/2019 at 07:57:49
"In which he scored his first Blues goal".
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?
Amit Vithlani
7 Posted 07/01/2019 at 08:13:27
He also got 2 in the UEL dead rubber in Cyprus too, Hugh.
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 07/01/2019 at 08:59:36
He’s without doubt our most skilled talented younger player and I said last season if he was given the game time that others were given, we might have seen Lookman really race ahead in terms of development.

It’s all on his shoulders now though.

When you get in you have to keep on performing.

Justin Doone
9 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:05:29
He doesn't talk warmly of Everton nor mention that it was always the plan to come back to his parent club to fight for a first team spot.

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.

Jerome Shields
10 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:11:53
Hopefully our forward line will continue as Bernard, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman. Lucky Silva picked them against Lincoln and as a result got 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes, before Lincoln became more tactically effective. Everton would have ended up with a draw or a defeat otherwise.

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.

Andrew Wilkinson
11 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:14:29
Agree. I think he's a really exciting player who creates and can make things happen. He brings something different to the team and must be given a decent run of games not just 10 mins at the end of a match. Theo needs a rest and Lookman must now be ahead of him on the team sheet.

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.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:18:17
Charles (2), that’s the wayI think about Lookman too, I’d
never leave him out of the squad, play him with Bernard
and Charlie ( as long as Charlie pulls himself together and remembers it’s a mans game) and have them swapping and intermingling throughout the game, bring
some much needed movement upfront.
Eddie Dunn
13 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:26:51
I think the lad is a real talent and love the fact that he backs himself to score and will shoot from ourtsdie the box(unlike lots of others).
My one worry is his lack of goal celebration on Saturday it was like he'd scored against Charlton!
Steve Croston
14 Posted 07/01/2019 at 09:31:11
I really rate Lookman and think he could be the next big thing at Everton. But, and it's a big but, we need a number of things to happen for him to stay and create his own niche at our club.
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
Tony Everan
15 Posted 07/01/2019 at 10:04:53
Ademola is one of the most talented players on our books.

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.

Derek Knox
16 Posted 07/01/2019 at 11:36:16
Agree Tony, like most people it would be good to see him given a run of games, rather than impact sub, or not at all.

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.

Mark Murphy
17 Posted 07/01/2019 at 12:13:51
The problem is IF we get in a centre forward then Richarlison will take Lookmans place in the first eleven.
I agree with Dave - a front three of him, Richy and Bernard could be exiting!
Mike Gaynes
19 Posted 07/01/2019 at 14:58:46
Steve #14, I heartily agree on the need for a long run of games in place of Walcott, but sorry, I think the sulking thing is complete malarkey. Not sure what you've seen in momentary glimpses of his face on TV that give you the "slapped arse" impression, but I see no sign of sulking – on the contrary, his work rate is generally excellent.

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.

Richard Lyons
20 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:19:25
Lookman is great. Now he's back from injury, we've seen he's clearly still in that "very, very good moment", and there's surely no reason not to pick him in the starting XI.

So I fully expect to see him there on Sunday...

Paul Birmingham
21 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:22:53
Hopefully for Mola, this is the start of the beginning for him at EFC.

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.

Eddie Dunn
22 Posted 07/01/2019 at 15:37:24
Mike @19, I know what you mean and I used to enjoy the old days of a quick return to the halfway line and the odd handshake but he has looked miserable on other occasions when he has come on as sub. Mind you, our manager looks sad most of the time too.

I suppose it is better than some of the ridiculous routines we see with all manner of hand jives and dance moves!

James Hill
23 Posted 07/01/2019 at 16:24:48
Sam Board #5 the German league is like watching training games compared with the Premier League. The problem with Lookman at the moment is his decision making is still poor and he gives the ball away in the wrong areas. Hopefully this will change with fantastic coaching he is now getting.
Pete Edwards
24 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:06:07
Steve, I don't care if he has a face like a smacked arse as long as he does the business on the pitch!
Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:14:52
Very similar to Walcott in my view. Quick, skillful, can create, can score but seems to have long spells of disappearing from games. With that said, the same was true of Raheem Sterling but the last few years he has really developed his all-around game. Maybe Lookman can do the same.

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.

Andrew James
26 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:26:16
Comparing him to the player of 2017, he's definitely developing.

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.

Tony Everan
27 Posted 07/01/2019 at 17:42:10
Walcott is the Val Doonican of Premier League players.

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.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:02:10
I take those commenting on the goal celebration were not inside the stadium. There was a delay by players and fans alike as we waited to see if the goal was given. It was clearly in on the TV but most of us weren’t so sure. I don’t think Lookman was either. So, the moment to give it the big celebration had passed, it was more subdued because of it. Just as the reaction of the fans was.

Anyway, I really like the kid. I’d have him on the pitch every game, be that off the bench or starting. He’s probably a sub if everyone plays to their best, but with most misfiring, he’s worth a run of starts.

Brian Wilkinson
29 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:13:25
Have to admit, Steve, I was in Upper Gwladys Street and along with others was unsure if it was a goal until a few seconds later.
Steve Ferns
30 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:16:22
I was in the Park, Brian, I have a great seat just behind the goal too. And my eye sight is great before you ask! You had no chance in the Gwladys!
Jay Harris
31 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:23:41
This is one player with confidence and talent that needs to be nurtured and coached on positional sense.

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.

Andrew James
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.

Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:32:59
Off topic but HOLY SHIT - did you guys hear that Rooney was arrested for public intoxication at Dulles Airport?

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?

Jay Harris
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.

Steve Ferns
35 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:45:52
Andrew, there was a cheer, but nothing like it would have been if the ball hit the back of the net. And I’m sure he would have celebrated properly. Also, he might be shocked that he scored such a header. I just don’t think anyone should read much into that one celebration.
Darren Hind
36 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:49:01
Wouldn't mind seeing a lot more low key celebrations from Ademola. I'll do the crazy celebrations for him
Neil Wood
37 Posted 07/01/2019 at 18:57:18
Quite simply the best young player at the club by a country mile.

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.

Rob Dolby
38 Posted 07/01/2019 at 20:10:51
Without doubt, he would be in my starting 11 instead of either Bernard or Walcott

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.

Jim Bennings
39 Posted 07/01/2019 at 20:58:14
Jay Harris,

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.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:28:15
Playing well. . . and he got an important goal.
Darryl Ritchie
41 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:28:20
The impression I get from the interview is that he just wants to play. If he gets minutes with Everton, all's right with the world. If not then another club will do.
Dick Fearon
42 Posted 07/01/2019 at 21:57:00
He is happy so long as he is in the first team.

As Mrs Brown might say... 'That's Nice.'

Roman Sidey
43 Posted 08/01/2019 at 00:34:00
This bloke could end up a very similar player to Sterling (who I think is England's best player at the moment) in style and quality..., but he is being coached by Duncan Non-Footballer Ferguson.

Until the Everton hierarchy cut out the sentimental hiring of people like Big Dunc, these players are all going to stagnate.

Saegaran Kana
44 Posted 08/01/2019 at 07:29:10
This lad is class. Has all the markings of a top player.

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.

Paul Smith
45 Posted 08/01/2019 at 08:11:03
Well said Roman.

Eddie Dunn
46 Posted 08/01/2019 at 09:11:15
Well, I am looking forward to his next goal we shall see how happy it makes him.
David Pearl
47 Posted 08/01/2019 at 13:45:54
I must've missed something. Is Duncan Ferguson the only coach we have? Or does he specialise more in coaching the likes of Tosun, Calvert-Lewin... Maybe he just goes on the pie run at dinner time. Who knows? Well, I know who doesn't know...!

I'm more concerned with the sentimental hiring of the other background staff that will follow whoever the manager is at the time.

Neil Wood
48 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:01:26
Slightly off thread but why oh why won't we sign Balotelli? Cheap, point to prove and to me a missed opportunity if we don't. Still only 28 and too good to be playing in France.

Get him!

Ian Linn
49 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:10:29
Neil @48, put the hash pipe down, lad!
Shane Corcoran
50 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:20:29
“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." ????????
Michael Williams
51 Posted 08/01/2019 at 14:38:20
I have significantly decreased my comments to ToffeeWeb because of all the commenters ripping our young players so it's nice to read so many complementary remarks about Lookman. It almost warms my cold cold heart.

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.

Frank Sheppard
52 Posted 08/01/2019 at 15:48:48
Interesting how he seems to get more attention on TW than any other player. I hope he is worth the hype, and gets the chance to show us, via a run of 10 or 12 games. That would be good for him, as well as showing Theo that there is work to do, to keep the shirt.
Richard Reeves
53 Posted 08/01/2019 at 17:51:31
He's only going to be the player a lot of us think he'll be with experience. When he has a bad game, don't drop him; and when he does get dropped, bring him on as a sub for at least 30 mins a game. It might be frustrating at times but it will pay off. He has a lot more to offer than Walcott and, more importantly, he has a future – which is something we should be trying to secure with him if he can fulfill his potential.
Roman Sidey
54 Posted 09/01/2019 at 01:02:03
Richard, I couldn't agree more. I find it odd that he has played so little for the first team in the two years he's been at the club.

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.

Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 09/01/2019 at 13:46:20
Daily Star now reporting a rumor that Southampton will come in for Lookman this month. Their new manager Hasenhuttl was Lookman's guru at Leipzig.
Ray Roche
56 Posted 09/01/2019 at 15:00:22
Mike, the Daily Star is a rag, more suited to the front of the white van of knuckle-dragging, dribbling retards. Or Koppites, as they're known. If Lookman had big tits, he'd be on their page three every week.

Take anything written in that recyclable garbage with a mountain of salt.

Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:22:27
Thanks, Ray, I was aware of that. Wouldn't even have posted it except the same rumor (rumour) has been previously reported by Goal.com in the US and Brila.com in Nigeria.
Ray Roche
58 Posted 09/01/2019 at 16:50:13
It's okay, Mike, I wasn't sure if you Stateside boys knew which rags to avoid!

Funny that it's reported in the places you mentioned though.

Jay Wood

59 Posted 09/01/2019 at 17:01:15
One rumoured transfer target which got some excited can now, I think, be ruled out for the year: Gabriel Barbosa, aka Gabigol.

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.

Mike Gaynes
60 Posted 09/01/2019 at 18:34:13
Ray #58, Brila.com follows Lookman's career closely because his parents were born in Nigeria and he's popular there. Nigeria's national team coach has been conducting a long-term, very public campaign to persuade the kid to switch his international allegiance: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45989923

And the Goal.com writer who also reported the rumor is also Nigerian. So that's the explanation.

Ray Roche
61 Posted 09/01/2019 at 22:23:31
Thanks Mike for the background to those reports. I remember Nigeria were interested in trying to get him to change allegiance to their National team.
Nick West
62 Posted 10/01/2019 at 00:10:29
This lad could be sensational for us. He needs to be nurtured, but then I'm sure Messi and Ronaldo needed likewise at a similar age. There's clearly something special about him.
Mike Gaynes
63 Posted 10/01/2019 at 00:52:07
Nick, actually both Messi and Ronaldo were starting for their clubs and scoring spectacular goals at age 18. But I get your point.

Kieran Kinsella
64 Posted 10/01/2019 at 17:15:51
Kevin 64,

Vlasic is another Mirallas. Quick to point out the obvious flaws in a manager, but blind to his own shortcomings.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 10/01/2019 at 19:37:02
Kieran, the guy started maybe five league games for us at the age of 20, in the midst of the most chaotic season in decades.

I don't think we have any idea what his shortcomings are. But he's absolutely right about the football under The Fat Head.

Kieran Kinsella
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.

Paul Avery
67 Posted 10/01/2019 at 21:06:59
I quite like the fact that Lookman is a miserable bastard with no celebration, same as Jimmy Mac: only serious about their football – not the glitz and glam.
Grant Rorrison
68 Posted 11/01/2019 at 23:02:36
He should be in the team ahead of Walcott. Why do some players get a free pass where form is concerned while others are held to crazy high standards? If they guy doesn't score or make about 3 goals he gets dropped.

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