EPL club closing In on Europa League hero Lookman

Super Eagles and Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman has caught the attention of English Premier League club West Ham United as a potential transfer target.

Since his move to Bergamo in 2022, the 26-year-old has been in exceptional form, highlighted by his stunning hat-trick against Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final, which ended their 51-game unbeaten streak.

The Hammers finished ninth in the Premier League league with 52 points, ending a mixed season. This position was not welcomed by the club's hierarchy, who have since replaced their manager David Moyes with Spaniard Julen Lopetegui.

The 57-year-old is reportedly impressed by the Nigeria international's performance and sees him as a viable option as he begins his West Ham tenure.

For weeks, Lookman has been linked with a return to England this summer, according to reports in the Italian media.

The reports indicate that the Nigerian striker has struggled to adapt to life in Italy, citing significant cultural differences compared to his previous experiences in Germany and England. Nonetheless, this challenge has not hindered his impressive performance on the field.

With 15 goals and eight assists this season, Lookman is one of the highest-scoring wingers in Europe.

His performance has also been stellar on the international stage, as he scored three goals in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast, helping his team reach the final.

Additionally, his crucial role in Atalanta's Europa League title run has boosted his chances of dethroning compatriot Victor Osimhen as the CAF Player of the Year.

Why Lookman's price tag could soar

Valued at €30 million, Lookman's contract with Atalanta expires in 2026. Since joining the club from RB Leipzig in 2022 for €10 million, he has rapidly become one of Europe's most promising wingers.

His stock has significantly risen after his recent heroics, and several factors suggest that his price tag could soar even higher.

Lookman's ability to create and convert scoring opportunities has made him a vital asset for Atalanta. Such consistent high-level performances inevitably attract attention from top clubs willing to invest heavily in proven talent.

The Super Eagles star's heroics in the UEFA Europa League have significantly boosted his value. Performances in European competitions are highly valued, as they highlight a player's capability to compete at the highest levels.

Ademola Lookman being tracked by West Ham
Photo by Icon Sport

His ability to adapt to different leagues and styles of play, demonstrated through his stints in England, Germany, and Italy, makes him a versatile option for any top side.

This versatility, combined with his proven track record, makes him an appealing target, likely driving up his market value.

Ademola Lookman's journey through English football

Born in Wansworth, Greater London, Lookman began his football journey at Charlton Athletic's Academy, where he honed his skills with the U-18 and U-21 teams.

His impressive goal-scoring record quickly propelled him through the academy ranks, earning him a first-team debut for the Addicks on 3 November 2015. Lookman wasted no time making an impact, scoring his debut goal in a 3–2 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion on 5 December 2015.

He followed up with a brace against Bolton Wanderers just ten days later. In total, he notched 10 goals in 45 appearances for Charlton Athletic.

In 2017, the Nigerian player made the move to Everton, where he made 36 appearances and scored one goal. Seeking more playing time, he embarked on loan spells, first with Fulham in the 2020/21 season from RB Leipzig, where he impressed with four goals in 34 games.

Ademola Lookman @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

For the 2021/22 season, Lookman joined Leicester City on loan, where he continued to showcase his talent, scoring six goals in 26 appearances for the Foxes.

Why West Ham and Lookman will be a good fit

As West Ham United seek to bolster their squad, Lookman emerges as a prime candidate to strengthen their attacking options as per Claret and Hugh.

Here’s why Lookman and West Ham would be a perfect match and how he can complement the efforts of Mohammed Kudus, Lucas Paquetá, and Jarrod Bowen.

Lookman is a versatile forward, capable of playing on either wing or as a secondary striker. His pace, dribbling ability, and eye for goal make him a constant threat to defenders.

Lookman’s ability to cut inside from the wings and take on defenders one-on-one adds a dynamic edge to any attack.

Lookman @ Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

His proficiency in both creating and converting chances would provide West Ham with a multifaceted attacking option, enhancing their offensive flexibility.

West Ham's current attacking trio of Kudus, Paquetá, and Bowen has shown great potential, but the addition of Lookman could elevate their performance to new heights.

With Lookman in the squad, West Ham would have greater tactical flexibility. Lopetegui could deploy Lookman in various formations, whether it’s a traditional 4-3-3, a 4-2-3-1, or even a more fluid system.

Lookman’s adaptability would allow West Ham to switch tactics seamlessly during games, responding to different match situations and opponents' strategies.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.