Who is Ademola Lookman? All you need to know about the Super Eagles & Atalanta hero

Ademola Lookman is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Serie A club Atalanta, as well as Nigeria's Super Eagles.

Born on 20 October 1997 in Wandsworth, Greater London, Lookman's journey from Waterloo, a youth football club based in the London Borough of Lambeth, to the topmost heights of European football showcases his unparalleled talent and dedication to achieving his life-long football dreams.

In this article, we'll provide everything you need to know about the UEFA Europa League champion.

Lookman hat-trick denies Boniface and Leverkusen invincibility and Europa League trophy  
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Where is Ademola Lookman from?

Ademola Olajade Alade Aylola Lookman was born in  Wandsworth, Greater London. It is believed that he's from Lagos State and is of the Yoruba tribe.

Ademola Lookman parents

Ademola Lookman was born on 20 October 1997 in Wandsworth, Greater London, to Nigerian parents. He attended St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham where he achieved three A*s and five As at GCSE.

10 Facts about Ademola Lookman

Below are 10 facts about the Super Eagles star:

  1. Nigerian Roots, English Beginnings: Lookman was born to Nigerian parents but began his international career representing England at various youth levels, from U-19 to U-21. He even played a part in England's U-20 World Cup victory in 2017.
  1. Academic Prowess: Beyond the pitch, Lookman excelled academically. While attending St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham, he achieved an impressive record of three A*s and five As at his GCSE exams.
  1. Charlton Launchpad: Lookman's professional journey began at Charlton Athletic's academy in 2014. His prolific goalscoring for the U-18 and U-21 teams earned him a rapid promotion, leading to his first-team debut in November 2015.
  2. Nigeria Switch and International Success: Despite representing England at youth levels, Lookman eventually switched his international allegiance to Nigeria in 2022. He made his debut for the Super Eagles in March 2022 and played a crucial role in their run to second-place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
  1. Supportive Family: Lookman's father, also a football enthusiast, played a significant role in his early sporting development. His father's encouragement and support were instrumental in Lookman's decision to pursue a career in football.
  1. Lookman Makes History with First Europa League Final Hat-Trick: Ademola Lookman etched his name in European football history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Europa League final. Interestingly, this feat echoes Atalanta's only previous major honor – the 1963 Coppa Italia. In that triumph, Angelo Domenghini claimed the match ball after a 3-1 win against Torino with a stunning hat-trick performance.
  1. Europa League Final Man Of The Match Award: Ademola Lookman conjured one of the greatest individual European final performances to wreck Bayer Leverkusen’s bid for an ‘invincible treble’. The Charlton Athletic academy kid smashed a stunning individual hat-trick to hand Atalanta the title, and in the process, won the player of the match award.
  1. Lookman's journey takes flight at Atalanta: Ademola Lookman's footballing journey has been a whirlwind. Starting at Charlton Athletic's academy, he quickly rose through the ranks before makinge a big move to Everton in 2017. However, playing time was limited, leading to a loan spell at RB Leipzig. He then inked a permanent deal at the German club but ended up going on loan to Fulham and Leicester City. 

Despite showcasing talent across various clubs and leagues, Lookman remained a journeyman seeking a permanent home. In 2022, a turning point arrived. Lookman switched international allegiance to Nigeria and thrived with the Super Eagles. Finally, in August 2022, Atalanta offered stability. He immediately made his mark, scoring on his debut and continuing his hot streak throughout the season. His historic Europa League final hat-trick cemented his place in Atalanta and European football history.

  1. Award-Winning Season at Atalanta: Capping off a remarkable season, Ademola Lookman was crowned Atalanta's Player of the Season for the 2022/2023 campaign. This prestigious fan-voted award recognised Lookman's exceptional performances in his debut year with the club. The 26-year-old winger impressed with a stellar return of 15 goals and 8 assists across all competitions, showcasing his attacking prowess and adaptability within Atalanta's system. Lookman faced stiff competition for the award, ultimately surpassing midfielders Teun Koopmeiners and Marten de Roon.
  1. Lookman took his decision: The former Everton lad became a full-fledged Nigerian international in 2022, and he confesses he has no reason to regret that decision. The Atalanta forward revealed that it was his decision, and not that of his parents, to switch his international allegiance from England to Nigeria.

“It was nothing to do with my parents because they wouldn’t really tell me to go here or there,” Lookman told The Times.

“I wanted to build a career internationally. The decision was something that I thought about for a long time before making. To play for Nigeria is an honour first of all and the best decision I ever made. I’m happy I made it.” 

Ademola Lookman hat-trick denies Boniface and Leverkusen invincibility and Europa League trophy
Photo by Icon Sport

Ademola Lookman’s club career

The London-born Nigerian forward has played for clubs in England, Germany and Italy. Let's take a closer look into the details of his club career below.

Charlton Athletic

Ademola Lookman's professional journey began in 2014 when he joined Charlton Athletic's academy after impressing at Waterloo, a youth club in London. His prolific goalscoring for Charlton's U18 and U-21 teams saw him rise quickly through the ranks.

This culminated in his first-team debut for the ‘Addicks' on 3 November 2015. Lookman wasted no time making his mark, scoring his first goal just a month later in a narrow defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. He continued his impressive form, netting a brace in a 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers shortly after.

Everton

Lookman's talent caught the eye of Premier League giants Everton in January 2017. They secured his signing for a reported £7.5 million fee, with the potential to rise even higher based on performance. He made a dream debut, coming off the bench to score the final goal in a convincing 4-0 victory over Manchester City. Lookman even tasted European football with Everton, featuring in their Europa League qualifying campaign.

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Despite this promising start, regular playing time proved elusive under manager Sam Allardyce. While Allardyce initially intended to keep Lookman, the club eventually explored loan options to provide him with more consistent playing experience. However, Lookman had his sights set beyond the Championship and pushed for a move to a higher level. His wish was granted when Bundesliga club RB Leipzig came calling, offering him a loan deal for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

RB Leipzig

Lookman's impact at Leipzig was immediate. He scored a dramatic winning goal on his debut, coming on as a late substitute to secure victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach. This loan spell marked the beginning of Lookman's journey as a footballer who would adapt and thrive across various clubs and leagues.

While Lookman impressed on loan at Leipzig, Everton ultimately decided to bring him back permanently in July 2019, signing him to a five-year contract. However, securing regular playing time remained a challenge. Seeking more consistent opportunities, Lookman embarked on another loan adventure in September 2020, this time joining Premier League side Fulham for the 2020/21 season. He wasted no time settling in, scoring his first goal for the Cottagers against Sheffield United in October.

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Leicester City

Lookman's loan spells continued in the 2021/22 season with a move to Leicester City. He made his debut for the Foxes in September 2021 as a substitute against Manchester City. While opportunities were still limited, Lookman made a significant impact in December, scoring the winning goal in a crucial 1-0 victory over Liverpool. This loan spell showcased his ability to contribute at the highest level of English football.

Atalanta

Ademola Lookman's career trajectory has been anything but ordinary. Despite showcasing undeniable talent, his early years were marked by a series of loan spells at various clubs, earning him the reputation of a “journeyman.” The Super Eagle's search for a permanent home finally ended in August 2022 with a move to Serie A giants Atalanta. This move proved to be the turning point he craved.

Lookman immediately impressed at Atalanta, scoring on his debut and continuing his impressive form throughout the season. A spectacular run in January 2023 saw him net braces in three consecutive matches – a Serie A thrashing of Salernitana, a Coppa Italia triumph over Spezia, and a dramatic Serie A draw against giants Juventus. This hot streak cemented his status as a key player at Atalanta and a rising star in Italian football.

Ademola Lookman breaks series of records with hat-trick in Europa League final
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However, Lookman's success isn't limited to domestic achievements. He etched his name in European football history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Europa League final, leading Atalanta to their first-ever major European trophy. This victory marked a personal milestone for Lookman, finally securing his first major trophy at senior level after nine years of professional football. He had been a losing finalist in the Coppa Italia just a week before.

Lookman's Europa League triumph adds him to a prestigious list of Nigerians who have conquered this competition. Following in the footsteps of Taribo West and Nwankwo Kanu (1998 with Lazio), John Mikel Obi (2013 with Chelsea), Victor Moses (2019 with Chelsea), and Chidi Odiah (2005 with CSKA Moscow), Lookman has cemented his place among Nigeria's Europa League champions. Lifting the Europa League trophy wasn't just about personal achievement; it marked the culmination of a remarkable turnaround for Lookman at Atalanta.

Ademola Lookman’s international career

Ademola Lookman's international allegiance has been a story of divided loyalties. Born in England to Nigerian parents, he was eligible to represent both countries. Lookman's early career saw him progress through the England youth ranks, even playing a key role in their U-20 World Cup victory in 2017. He initially declined approaches from Nigeria, with aspirations of representing England at the senior level.

However, in 2020, the tide began to turn. Lookman switched his international allegiance to Nigeria, despite expressing a lingering desire to play for England. FIFA ultimately approved the switch in February 2022, paving the way for him to represent the Super Eagles.

He made his debut in March 2022 and quickly established himself as a vital player, scoring crucial goals in their run to second place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. This international saga highlights the complex choices young players can face when representing countries with dual-citizenship.

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Ademola Lookman’s salary and net worth

As at the time of writing, Ademola Lookman earns £41,000 per week, and an annual salary of £2,132,000 excluding bonuses for the 2023/24 season, according to Salarysport.

Sources vary, but Ademola Lookman’s net worth is estimated to be between £7 million and £12.7 million, a testament to his burgeoning success and market value which is set to continue to rise in the next coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ademola Lookman

What is Ademola Lookman state of origin? Ademola Lookman’s state of origin is Lagos State in southwest Nigeria.

How tall is Ademola Lookman? Standing at 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in), he's one of the tallest players in the Nigeria national team.

How much does Ademola Lookman earn weekly? Ademola Lookman earns £41,000 per week as an Atalanta BC player, but this does not include bonuses.

What is Ademola Lookman’s net worth in 2024? At the time of writing in 2024, Ademola net worth is estimated between £7 million to £12.7 million

Has Ademola Lookman scored a goal for Nigeria? Ademola Lookman has scored 6 goals for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

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Toyosi Afolayan

Toyosi Afolayan is a sports journalist who breathes life into the games we love. He loves to combine insightful analysis with historical background, creating a richer understanding of sports. Afolayan's expertise ranges from captivating narratives to live broadcasts, captivating audiences across platforms like Ojbsport, AllNigeriaSoccer, TVC Entertainment, Bounce Networks, Kwara TV, ICIR, EaglesTracker, and NFF TV. His background in History and International Studies adds depth, revealing the connections between sports, politics, and national identity.