The Nigeria international only lasted for 45 minutes as Atalanta stumbled to a narrow win at Hellas Verona on Sunday
Atalanta BC manager Gian Piero Gasperini has shed more light on why he took off Super Eagles winger Ademola Lookman at halftime during his side’s slim 1-0 win at Verona.
Newly signed from RB Leipzig this summer, Lookman impressed on his Serie A debut on August 13.
The Nigerian attacker came off the bench with 27 minutes left on the clock to grab his first goal in the 2-0 win at Sampdoria.
Lookman was also a late substitute in Atalanta’s 1-1 home draw with AC Milan on matchday two.
The former Leicester City loanee showed he was ready for his first start for Atalanta when he found the net in a 3-1 friendly win over lower league side Sporting Franciacorta last week.
And head coach Gasperini obliged him, handing the number 11 a starting spot at Verona.
But Atalanta were far from their best in the opening half, with Lookman not covering himself in glory with his performance.
The 24-year-old completed only 67 percent of his passes and lost possession seven times as the Goddesses were held to a goalless draw at the interval.
Lookman’s display did not impress coach Gasperini, and the manager hauled the winger off at halftime.
Gasperini admits after the encounter that Lookman has performed creditably since he joined Atalanta.
But the veteran Italian manager insists he had to substitute the attacker because he was not efficient with the ball.
“Three players have arrived in the last ten days,” Gasperini said.
“Lookman had done well in the segments he entered. Perhaps today, he was a little excited. He lost a lot of balls, and also for that we were unable to restart him in the first half.”
Colombian striker Luis Muriel replaced Lookman at halftime, but it was Teun Koopmeiners who netted the decisive winner five minutes after the break.
With two wins and a draw from their opening three league games, Atalanta sit joint-top of the Italian Serie A table.