The Nigerian told Sky Sport Italia of his big impact at Atalanta: “Of course I expected it. Maybe it’s a surprise to you….”
Browsing: Ademola Lookman
The Nigeria international ensured Atalanta would move above AC Milan, who are at Torino in Sunday’s late match, with his fourth goal in five league matches for Atalanta just before the hour mark.
Sassuolo had taken the lead with a stunning Giorgos Kyriakopoulos volley, but Atalanta turned it all around.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side did not lose their early momentum during the international break, looking fired up at the Gewiss Stadium as they faced a stumbling Fiorentina. Atalanta eventually edged out the win in a hard-fought battle thanks to Lookman’s 59th minute goal, allowing them to keep up pressure on Napoli at the top of the Serie A table.
Sampdoria had the ball in the net after 13 minutes when Mehdi Leris collected a ball over the top, shrugged off Joakim Maehle and pulled back for Ciccio Caputo to sweep in from 10 yards.
The winger joined City on a season-long loan deal from Red Bull Leipzig on deadline day last year.
According to the online edition of German newspaper Bild, the Super Eagles winger was among 12 national team players that reported for pre-season preparations on Monday.
The Nigeria international was declared surplus to requirements in back-to-back seasons, leading to loan spells at English top-flight teams Fulham and Leicester City.
Lookman spent the 2021/22 season on loan with the Foxes, impressing with eight goals and five assists in 41 appearances across all competitions.
Victor Osimhen scored four of the goals, while Terem Moffi grabbed a brace in the Match Day 2 fixture played before a very sparse crowd at the Stade Grande.
Lookman, who is on a season-long loan to the Foxes from Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig, has had a mixed experience during his spell in the East Midlands not helped by his side’s oscillating form collectively.
The on-loan winger has been a hit with both fans and manager alike at the King Power Stadium. His tricky feet and regular goal contributions – including at Newcastle at the weekend – have seen supporters take to him, while his work-rate means he has a fan in City boss Brendan Rodgers.
The win moved Newcastle United up to 14th place on 37 points, 12 above Burnley in 18th spot, with Leicester City three points ahead of the Magpies in ninth.
The winger is currently on loan in England from RB Leipzig, and he has been a regular member of the squad.
Lookman made his debut for Nigeria after coming on in the second half to replace Moses Simon in the World Cup qualifier.
The Foxes, who beat United 4-2 at the King Power Stadium back in October, have been forced to deal with a plethora of injury issues to key personnel throughout the campaign and lady luck does not appear to be changing for manager Rodgers. Their never-ending injury woes this term have contributed to their slide down the Premier League table, with the club set to miss out on a top-five finish for the first time since 2018/19.
Ighalo was included in Nigeria’s 2021 AFCON squad after coming out of retirement, but the former Manchester United striker could not honour the call up because of club issues.
NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, disclosed this in a statement Thursday, affirming that Lookman could with the approval represent Nigeria at international level.
Emilio Garcia Silveiro, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, on Thursday conveyed the decision to the NFF.
The 24-year-old is currently on loan from RB Leipzig for the entire season, and he has been a crucial part of the squad since he made the move.