Everton have suffered a number of transfer blunders in the Farhad Moshiri regime thus far, with one notable example having been that of promising winger Ademola Lookman, with the Nigeria international currently tearing it up for Serie A outfit, Atalanta.
The former Charlton Athletic man had been plucked from The Valley by the Toffees for a fairly sizeable fee of £11m – the most expensive from League One at the time – back in January 2017, although struggled for a fair chance with the Merseyside outfit.
While lauded as a “big talent” by manager Ronald Koeman at the time of his arrival, the then-teenager went on to make just 48 appearances in all competitions over the next few years, scoring just four goals and providing only two assists.
Although that may reflect poorly on the player himself, the truth is that the London-born starlet was never handed a regular run in the side, having made just 14 starts across his two-and-a-half year spell at Goodison.
Having been on the periphery with the Premier League side, the 5 foot 9 menace was subsequently snapped up by Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the summer of 2019, with the German outfit having previously been impressed after the forward had scored five goals and provided four assists in just 11 games while on loan at the club in the second half of the 2017/18 season.
Praised for his “dynamic ability” by Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche, the youngster had commanded a fee of around £16m as a result of his move to Saxony, with that representing a relatively minor profit for Moshiri and co.
Although the fleet-footed speedster would go on to struggle in his new surroundings, subsequent loan returns to England did prove fruitful, as he first recorded eight goal contributions in 34 games at Fulham during the 2020/21 campaign.
The following season saw a move to Leicester City also pay off for the former Three Lions U21 international as he chipped in with eight goals and registered five assists in 42 games in all competitions for Brendan Rodgers’ side, impressing with his versatility to feature anywhere across the front line.
By contrast, that 2021/22 season only saw his tally of 13 goal involvements bettered by former talisman Richarlison (16) among the Everton squad, with Frank Lampard and co likely to have been aided by such a devastating attacking talent.
To make matters worse, the Merseyside outfit have since seen the 24-year-old go on to blossom in Italy, with the four-cap gem having scored once and laid on three assists in just seven games for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, following his arrival on a €15m (£13.4m) deal over the summer.
That price appears something of a bargain, with Lookman’s actual value reported to be closer to £36m – according to CIES Football Observatory – with that a marker of his undoubted talent.
It looks as if the Toffees will have to continue to rue their error with regards to not giving the wide man more of a chance, as well as their failure to sell him on for a more sizeable fee.