An eventful and largely successful transfer window is over for Leicester City, and now manager Brendan Rodgers must figure out the best way to utilise the new members of his first-team squad.
The likes of Boubakary Soumare, Patson Daka and Jannik Vestergaard have added significant strength to the Foxes over the summer, but it’s the arrival of RB Leipzig loanee Ademola Lookman that arguably brings the most intrigue.
Highly rated as a teenage prodigy, the 23-year-old has spent the last few years enduring a series of short-term spells at various clubs with a wide-ranging degree of success.
Now the time has come for Lookman to showcase his true potential on a regular basis on the biggest of stages, and Rodgers’ influence could be crucial to the former England Under-21 international finally putting together a string of performances that his ability deserves.
After rising through the ranks at boyhood club Charlton Athletic, the diminutive forward moved to the Premier League via an £11 million switch to Everton.
However, after finding chances in the senior setup hard to come by during his first year on Merseyside, Lookman joined Leipzig on a six-month loan deal and excelled at the Red Bull Arena, bagging five goals and providing four assists in just 11 Bundesliga outings.
His return to Goodison Park for the 2018/19 campaign didn’t go as planned, though. Just three goal contributions in 24 appearances in all competitions saw him return to Leipzig the following summer on a permanent deal, but it’s a move that the youngster has regretted ever since.
The Englishman was granted just 377 minutes of first-team action on his return to German football as Lookman started just two games all season in all competitions.
Unsurprisingly, another move occurred following the conclusion of 2019/20, this time taking him back to the English top-flight with Fulham.
A respectable total of four goals and four assists in 34 Premier League games for the relegated Cottagers put Lookman back at the forefront of many clubs’ minds, and it’s Leicester who have taken a punt on the talented if frustrating prospect.
His outstanding performances saw former Fulham manager Scott Parker label him as “unbelievable,” and as a result, Rodgers must now help Lookman reach his ceiling, as much for Leicester’s Champions League ambitions as the player’s own career.
With Harvey Barnes currently occupying the left-wing position, the Northern Irish tactician may be forced to field his new acquisition on his less-favoured right-hand side, but it’s a tactic that could prove rather beneficial.
Like most modern-day wingers, Lookman has predominantly featured on the left-wing due to being right-footed, allowing him to cut inside and shoot at goal with ease, but restricting his ability to get to the opposition byline.
By converting Lookman, Rodgers will be able to field two pacey, tricky wide men capable of wreaking havoc on any Premier League defence this season, providing Leicester with the attacking force they need to finally break into the top four.