What is Ademola Lookman’s best position? It’s hard to tell as the elusive forward has been a jack of all attacking trade this season and, rather astonishingly, master of ALL.
Well, the highest number of goals he scored this season came when deployed as a striker often with two forwards, whether you believe it or not.
Lookman’s magnum opus in Atalanta has come with him playing more centrally and being deadly in and around the 18 yard box. He has been deployed as a second striker 11 times this season, netting 6 goals and notching 1 assist.
One can safely say that Lookman has taken to his striker role – in the words of William Shakespeare – ‘as to the manner born’. He was close to bagging the perfect hattrick yesterday having scored with his right foot and then a header but the icing on the goals cake with his left foot proved elusive on the night; but it’s just a matter of time.
Having been deadly as a second striker in many games this season, does it mean Lookman is a spent force as a winger – his natural hunting ground? Far from it.
The diminutive roadrunner has 4 goals and 4 assists from the right wing and 1 goal and 1 assist from the left wing this season thereby retaining his ruthlessness from the flanks (bagging a staggering 11 goals and 4 assists in all competitions across various departments up front thus far in his inaugural season in Italy).
But, I am not an Atalanta fan, my allegiance nests solely in the Super Eagles and how these players apply themselves in national team colours. The next 12 months sees us preparing for and playing in the Afcon, interspersed hopefully with top quality friendlies.
Despite the recent lofty club performances of the likes of Umar, Ighalo, Osimhen, Balogun, Simon, Dennis, Aribo and Aina – to mention but a few – they still fell to a subpar Tunisian sword and a cobbled together ragtag Ghanaian outfit last year.
Once beaten, twice shy; I have learnt to temper my praise of their club performances with how they collectively overcome stubborn foes in the continent and beyond .
That said, give credit where due, Lookman is leaving terrifying skid-marks of breathtaking goals and all round resplendent performances across 5 roles this season: centre forward, right winger, left winger, support striker and attacking midfielder.
So far in his Italian Serie A debut, Lookman can already beat his chest and (like the Italian Army General Julius Caesar) say: veni vidi vici (I came, saw and conquered).
All I am eagerly waiting for now is to be able to beat my own chest and say the same thing for him in Super Eagles colours in the next 12 months.
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