The Nigeria international has been a revelation since he moved to Italy in the summer and he is the early frontrunner to be the league’s signing of the season
Super Eagles forward, Ademola Lookman has vowed that there is still so much more to come from him despite producing the best form of his career over the past few months.
Just as the Atalanta winger believes he will end the Serie A season higher on the goalscorer chart than Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
Lookman has begun the new year even better than he ended 2023, with the 25-year-old scoring six goals in his first four games in January.
All six goals arrived as three consecutive braces in the huge wins over Salernitana and Spezia, and the thrilling draw away to Juventus – a match in which Lookman contributed all Atalanta goals in a man-of-the-match display.
And the Nigeria international insists that he is still a country mile away from his very best.
What has been said?
“I’m playing football and I’m scoring goals, but I still feel like there’s just so much more,” Lookman told the Athletic.
“Now I’m in a place where I can consistently do what I want to in terms of setting out a schedule for myself, in terms of routine.
“This is the first time in my career where I’ve wholeheartedly believed in a routine and stuck to it. I’m in that mindset now. And that’s working for me.”
With 11 Serie A goals in 18 appearances, Lookman is the second most prolific goalscorer in the Italian top flight this term – bettered only by Napoli forward and Super Eagles teammate Victor Osimhen.
Osimhen is considered one of the best centre-forwards in the game at the moment, but Lookman is convinced he can catch and outscore Africa’s most expensive player.
“I will catch him,” Lookman says. “Not I might, I will.”
Is Gasperini to praise for Lookman’s improvement?
One man who has been delighted by Lookman’s near-perfect performance in Italy is Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
Gian Piero Gasperini has confessed that Atalanta sporting director Lee Congerton deserves a lot of credit for the transfer of Lookman.
But it is the veteran tactician who is turning the former Leicester City and Fulham winger into a lethal weapon in the penalty box.
Gasperini admits he is getting the most from Lookman because he chose to deploy him closer to the goal than he was in England.
At a pre-Sampdoria press conference (via Alfredo Pedulla), Gasperini said:
“He (Lookman) played right away, he was always involved in matches. He immediately showed that he has experience, he had significant growth in clubs where they know football.
“He was at Leipzig, then he played in England. There he was employed a bit distant from goal, but I immediately realised that he had the right characteristics for what we’ve been looking for for some time.
“(Sporting director) Lee Congerton was very good, he had already seen the team play from February-March: there were important negotiations with other players, but he was always convinced of the characteristics of Lookman and how I played and how I wanted to use him. He immediately entered well.”
Ademola Lookman’s brilliant brace and assist in Atalanta’s entertaining draw with Juventus last Sunday put the Bergamaschi two points off the top four.
The Super Eagles forward will look to be Atalanta’s biggest attacking threat when they host Sampdoria on Saturday.