This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Marco Silva has revealed that he didn’t want to sell Ademola Lookman this summer as he believes he will go on to have a great career.
Everton signed Lookman in January 2017 but he failed to establish himself in the side, even under Silva last term after he impressed on loan at RB Leipzig in the six months prior, scoring five and assisting four in 11 appearances for the German side.
Naturally, the player grew restless and frustrated at his lack of game time, and the Everton boss has revealed he requested to leave last summer, before finally confirming his departure in a £22.5m move a few weeks ago.
Given his lack of minutes for the Toffees that price seemed fair, and was too good for the club to ignore, but Silva wishes the winger was still at Goodison Park.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: “At the beginning of last season he spoke to me about his desire to leave the club. I said no, no and no, even if we received a very good offer to sell him, for our structure, no because I saw in him, and I keep seeing in him…[his quality].
“If you are asking me about my technical point of view, if I would like to sell him, I will say no.
“He has all the qualities to have a very good career. The quality is there, he has to change some things, but the quality is there.”
The Portuguese also explained that the 22-year-old was already unhappy when he first became manager, yet he started Lookman on only three occasions in the Premier League last year.
That was despite him hitting good form in his spell in the Bundesliga, and the fact he was likely high on confidence with a point to prove.
If he was already unhappy and desiring a move away, then Silva should have satisfied his wish to play more, particularly if he saw the quality and talent the youngster possesses.
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It wasn’t as if Bernard, who played ahead of him, was undroppable last season. The Brazilian scored one and assisted five in 34 league games in 2018/19, but if Lookman was trusted to play regularly he could have achieved more, as his record for Leipzig suggests.
There is still a long way to go for the former Charlton man but he has proved his effectiveness at other clubs, and Everton could live to regret the fact they sold him so soon, without seeing what he really had to offer – and Silva must bear some of the blame.