HomeAfrica Cup of NationsLookman's Remarkable Rise: Outshining the World's Best Striker

Lookman’s Remarkable Rise: Outshining the World’s Best Striker


Lookman’s Remarkable Rise: Outshining the World’s Best Striker

Ademola Lookman’s journey from Sunday League football to becoming a key player for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations has been nothing short of remarkable. Born in Wandsworth, Lookman made his way through Charlton’s youth system before earning a move to Everton and subsequent loans to Fulham and Leicester. In 2022, he switched allegiances to Nigeria, his parents’ home country, and has since become a talisman for the Super Eagles.

During the tournament, Lookman has outshone his teammate Victor Osimhen, who is considered one of the best strikers in the competition and possibly even the world. Osimhen has struggled to find his shooting boots, while Lookman has been one of the standout performers for Nigeria. He scored both goals in their last-16 victory over Cameroon and then netted the winner against Angola in the quarter-finals.

Lookman’s rise to prominence is all the more impressive considering his humble beginnings. If it weren’t for scouts spotting him playing for Waterloo ten years ago, he might never have turned professional. He quickly worked his way into Charlton’s first team, making his senior debut shortly after his 18th birthday. Despite his talent, he couldn’t save the club from relegation from the Championship.

There was plenty of transfer speculation surrounding Lookman, and in January 2017, he secured an £11 million move to Everton. He made an immediate impact by scoring within a minute of coming on as a substitute in his debut match against Manchester City, inflicting one of Pep Guardiola’s heaviest defeats at the time.

Ricky Holmes, Lookman’s former teammate at Charlton, recalls their time together and the undeniable natural talent Lookman possessed. Holmes remembers him as a confident player who believed he had already made it but acknowledges that Lookman has since matured and had a successful career. Lookman’s ambition and desire for game-time have led him to Atalanta in Italy’s Serie A, where he has scored 22 goals in 56 games.

Lookman’s story is one of constant improvement and a hunger to play at the highest level. He has expressed his desire to return to the Premier League, claiming to be a “different player” from his previous stint in England. His performances for Nigeria and Atalanta suggest that he has indeed developed into a top-class player.

Scott Parker, Lookman’s former manager at Fulham, speaks highly of him as both a player and a person. Parker praises Lookman’s professionalism, attitude, and constant desire to improve. He believes that Lookman has the talent and quality to reach the top once again.

As Lookman prepares for the semi-final against South Africa, he has the opportunity to further cement his status as a key player for Nigeria. His journey from Sunday League football to international success serves as an inspiration to aspiring young players everywhere. Lookman’s rise to prominence is a testament to his talent, hard work, and determination to succeed at the highest level of the game.

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