The link to Everton’s Ademola Lookman at the weekend was a surprise, but a move for the 20-year-old would definitely show intent by Garry Monk and the club in getting high calibre signings through the door.
He is a player highly regarded at Goodison Park, but it seems that new manager Marco Silva is looking to send the forward out on loan so he can gain more first-team experience.
Who is he?
Lookman came through the youth ranks at Charlton Athletic and impressed in both of the Addicks’ wins against us two years ago. He made his full senior debut in a 1-0 victory against us at St Andrews back in November 2015 and provided an assist in their 2-1 win at the Valley in the reverse fixture later on in the season.
He played the first half of the 2016/17 season in League One before being signed by Everton in the 2017 January transfer window for £7.5m, which could eventually rise to £11m after add-ons. He has played 24 matches for the Toffees, but he grew frustrated at the lack of game time mid-way through last campaign.
Despite then-manager Sam Allardyce wanting the player to go out on loan to an English club, the striker opted to move to Germany where he played for RB Leipzig for six months. He made an immediate impact, scoring the winning goal on his debut against Borussia Monchengladbach.
He had to be patient for his chances under Ralph Hasenhuttl, but he started the last four games of the season, scoring a double in the 4-1 win over Wolfsburg, as well as a goal and two assists in the 6-2 victory over Hertha Berlin on the final day.
Where would he play?
Lookman can play right across the front line, or in a deeper lying role as a support striker. The majority of his game time in senior football has been from the left-hand side of a front three. Nearly all of his goals for Leipzig came from the left wing, although he did score an important goal playing as the number 10, after coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen back in April.
Where he would fit into Garry Monk’s 4-4-2, we would have to wait and see. He could be used either as one of the two central strikers or in a wide position.
How realistic a target would he be?
His performances in the run-in for Leipzig would have not only brought him to the attention of Premier League teams but also Bundesliga clubs as well. Silva is said to want the player to remain in England next season so that would reduce the number of teams slightly.
However, the competition is still likely to be very high. Monk would have to be very persuasive if he is going to convince Lookman to choose the Blues over other potential destinations.