Everton has made its first move of the January transfer window with the Toffees signing Ademola Lookman for $12.3 million.
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Lookman, 19, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Everton after joining from English third-tier outfit Charlton Athletic. The England U-20 international has shone since making his debut for the Addicks midway through last season in England’s second-tier and the pacey forward was coveted by many Premier League teams,
Speaking in his press conference before the FA Cup third round match against Leicester City this weekend.
“Ademola is a good young, talented player,” Koeman said. “He’s a young player who can reach a high level if he continues to develop. He is a player for the future and he needs time to adapt. It’s a good signing and we expect a lot from him.”
Lookman revealed the chance to work with Koeman, a manager who has given young players a chance to shine throughout his managerial career, was a big reason he chose to switch to Goodison Park.
“It feels great to be an Everton player. As soon as I heard about Everton’s interest I knew this would be the right place for me,” Lookman said. “Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager. When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction.”
The English winger has scored 12 goals in 49 appearances for Charlton in all competitions and with speedy winger Yannick Bolasie out injured, Koeman could throw Lookman in sooner rather than later.
Both Ben Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin started for Everton on Jan. 2 against Southampton, while Mason Holgate is also in and around Everton’s first team as plenty of teenage talent is getting a chance at Goodison.
Koeman loves speedy wingers (he signed Bolasie at Everton and Sadio Mane at Southampton) and Lookman will likely settle in very well to his style of play.
This is also the work of new Director of Football Steve Walsh as he moved from Leicester to Everton in the summer and he may have already unearthed another gem. Remember, Walsh plucked the likes of N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez from relative obscurity in his role as head of recruitment and helped build Leicester into the PL champions.