England U20 forward Ademola Lookman is one of the most highly-rated prospects outside of the Premier League and the Charlton man has attracted the attention of Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh, with a bid now being prepared in January.
19-year-old Lookman attracted late interest from Crystal Palace in the summer but Charlton stood firm, although the Addicks will find it difficult to fend-off further interest from top-flight clubs in January with a whole host of top-sides eyeing the teenager.
Along with Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool are chasing the player, whilst Manchester City were linked with a move last year, with all four interested parties said to have watched Lookman in FA Cup action for Charlton last weekend.
In England, it’s difficult to judge when a youngster actually has potential or whether his name is simply being drummed up by the media. But in regards to Lookman, the term wonderkid is definitely applicable.
Last year in the Championship, Lookman netted five goals in 24 appearances for a Charlton side that plummeted out of the division and maintained a passing accuracy of 82%, whilst laying on 32 chances for his team-mates. This season, following Charlton’s relegation to League One, he’s already equalled his goal tally from last term after scoring a brace against Scunthorpe over the weekend.
He’s been a regular for Charlton this season and featured for England at the U19 European Championships during summer, whilst also earning a call-up to the U20 side.
For Lookman to reach his true potential, the 19-year-old teenager needs regular action, but moving to the Premier League would severely affect that. If Charlton were to negotiate a sell with a loan back until the end of the season, that would suit all parties.
Lookman himself would be advised to steer clear of the bigger sides, who would not be able to offer him regular football for a while, so Everton represent the best move for him. Under Ronald Koeman, he’d develop further and wouldn’t face the same kind of pressure to perform.
Whether Everton can match the financial offers their rivals could put forward is a different story entirely. However, Lookman should look at Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts as the perfect example of a talented youngster making the jump to the Premier League but then not being utilised.
Although Roberts’ playing time will eventually increase and the same would be the case for Lookman if he moved to a top side, the best option in the short-term would be to avoid such a massive step up.