Ademola Lookman: Can winger unlock potential at Fulham?

Ademola Lookman’s goal for Fulham at Sheffield United was his first in the Premier League since January 2017

Ademola Lookman scored his first Premier League on his Everton debut in a 4-0 rout of Manchester City in 2017. The second was a long time coming.

But three years, 37 Premier League appearances and two clubs since the first, the 22-year-old was on target again on Sunday.

Lookman skipped beyond two challenges on the edge of the penalty area before firing past Aaron Ramsdale as Fulham drew 1-1 with Sheffield United.

It rounded off an excellent performance and offered a glimpse of the talent RB Leipzig were willing to pay £22.5m for last year.

So can the winger deliver on his potential at Craven Cottage after joining Scott Parker’s side on loan this season?

The Fulham boss certainly thinks so, describing Lookman as a “top talent” after netting on his first start for the club.

Lookman’s journey to Craven Cottage

Lookman scored on his Premier League debut for Everton in January 2017

Lookman burst through at Charlton Athletic as an 18-year-old but, despite scoring five goals in 24 games, was unable to help them avoid relegation to League One.

He netted four times the following season before securing a move to Everton in January 2017, and scored on his debut after coming on as a late substitute in a 4-0 win over Manchester City.

But he failed to nail down a regular starting place as the Toffees went through three managers over the following 12 months – Ronald Koeman, caretaker David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce – opting to join RB Leipzig on loan in January 2018.

The youngster immediately impressed, scoring a debut winner against Borussia Monchengladbach and adding another four goals before the end of the season.

Back at Everton the following season, this time under boss Marco Silva, the winger made 24 appearances in all competitions but was sold to Leipzig in the summer of 2019.

His second spell in the Bundesliga proved less fruitful. He joined Fulham on loan last month, and impressed Parker on his debut after coming off the bench in a 1-0 defeat by Wolves.

“He looked another level,” said Parker. “You can see the quality the boy’s got. We knew that at the start of the window, when he was the main one I wanted.

“You can see in a short space of time, the boy’s got unbelievable quality. He’s a big plus for us this year and he’s going to be a big help for us.”

Lookman again showed why he was Parker’s main target as he scored at Bramall Lane.

“We all believe we can do great things this season,” Lookman told Match of the Day afterwards. “We expect good things to come in the near future.”

An England Under-20 World Cup winner

Lookman was also a key part of an England Under-20 team who won the World Cup in 2017, and a number of his team-mates have gone on to be established first-team players.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Venezuela in the final – and the Everton forward made his senior England debut earlier this month, along with Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, while Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori and Bournemouth duo Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke have also received senior call-ups.

Will Lookman be the next to catch Gareth Southgate’s eye?

GK: Freddie Woodman On loan from Newcastle in the Championship with Swansea
RB: Jonjoe Kenny Everton’s second-choice right back after a spell on loan with Schalke last season
CB: Fikayo Tomori Regular for Chelsea and has one England senior cap
CB: Jake Clarke-Salter On loan at Birmingham from Chelsea
LB: Kyle Walker-Peters Joined Southampton from Tottenham this summer
CM: Lewis Cook Regular for Bournemouth, has one England cap
CM: Josh Onomah Helped Fulham win promotion from the Championship last season
AM: Dominic Solanke Joined Bournemouth from Liverpool for £19m in 2019, won one England cap in 2017
LM: Ademola Lookman Scored on his first Fulham start after joining on loan from RB Leipzig
RM: Kieran Dowell Joined Norwich this season from Everton
CF: Dominic Calvert-Lewin Top scorer in the Premier League with seven goals for Everton, made his senior debut earlier this month
Sub: Ainsley Maitland-Niles Regular for Arsenal and earned his first England call-up earlier this month
Sub: Sheyi Ojo Loaned out by Liverpool for the sixth time, this time to Cardiff City – scoring the winner at Preston on Sunday

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