Lookman looks set to make Jose Peseiro’s 27-man squad for the AFCON, and that could affect Atalanta badly
Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini has expressed distress over Ademola Lookman’s potential departure for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in January, Soccernet.ng reports.
Lookman has been phenomenal for Atalanta this season, leading their goalscoring charts with six goals and three assists in the Serie A. The 26-year-old attacker has played in all of Atalanta’s 17 games in the Italian top-flight.
Consequently, his brilliance has earned him a place in coach Peseiro’s 40-man provisional list for the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast next January.
Nigeria’s camp opens on January 1, and Peseiro will release his final 27-man list for the AFCON afterwards. Lookman is one of the top candidates for the final list, barring any last-minute injury or shenanigans.
Lookman has been Atalanta’s best player, and Atalanta boss Gasperini is not particularly excited about his potential departure. Nonetheless, he is positive that the club will cope without him.
“It worries me that Lookman is leaving for the AFCON, yes, both for the numbers and the quality of the matches played,” Gasperini said per Tutto Fantacalcio.
“It is clear that we are losing an important element in attack, but we have a certain number of players to be able to make up for it.”
Because of the AFCON, Lookman could miss Atalanta’s games against Sassuolo, Roma, Frosinone, and Udinese. But Gasperini will hope that Gianluca stays fit and gets into his groove in the coming weeks.