Will Ademola Lookman Be An Asset To the Super Eagles?
It is being reported in various international media outlets that Leicester City dashing forward Ademola Lookman has finally concluded his nationality switch to Nigeria.
After winning the Under-20 Fifa World Cup with England in 2017 (where he scored 3 goals), Nigeria came calling in 2018 for Lookman to replicate his sterling qualities for the Super Eagles in senior level football. After initially rebuffing the advances of the Nigeria Football Federation, Lookman acquiesced.
But the nationality switch process was protracted for over 2 years with rumours leaking through that perhaps Lookman had turned his back on Nigeria.
However, it now looks certain that the nationality switch process has concluded and Lookman would indeed be available for selection in Nigeria's all-important world cup qualifiers against Ghana in March.
This news will delight very many Super Eagles fans who have waited eagerly for many months for this switch to materialise. Having said that, one needs to ask the question: what value does Ademola Lookman bring to the Super Eagles?
With Coach Eguavoen's emphasis on wing play, Lookman should slot in seamlessly into the Super Eagles style of play. His dribbling abilities are legitimate and compelling and his runs are direct, purposeful and piercing. His capacity to score breath-taking goals is a source of excitement.
With Chukwueze's temporary dwindling form and Ejuke yet to fire on all cylinders for Nigeria, Lookman could offer a viable option to Nigeria in the right wing. Also, the homuncular winger can moonlight as a support striker; the prospect of a Lookman - Osimhen combo is tantalising indeed.
However, critics have pointed to the fact that Lookman is not always prolific in front of goal. Last season, he only managed 4 goals in 35 games for Leicester. He has improved this season though with 5 goals in 22 games in England.
Other critics have pointed out that Lookman goes missing in games. He tends to attempt take ons when releasing the ball early could serve his team better. He is not known for tracking back (something not in harmony with Eguavoen's mass defence strategy) and can be dispossessed of the ball whilst attempting dribbling manoeuvres.
Having said all that, Lookman's strength far outweighs his shortcomings. He will definitely be an asset to the Super Eagles due to his hunger and willingness to win trophies. Lookman is ambitious and focused.
His pace, speed, shooting range, passing abilities and vision are expected to cause no shortage of headaches for Super Eagles' opponents.
Snatching Lookman from England is a major coup for Nigeria as the 24 year old winger has the capacity to improve further in seasons to come.
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