Ademola Lookman said he’s ‘ready to make the step up’ to the Premier League having sealed a move to Everton for an undisclosed fee.
The pacy England Under-20 international, who has earned rave reviews since breaking into Charlton Athletic’s first team midway through last season, has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal to June 2021. He will wear shirt number 31.
A skillful and direct winger, the 19-year-old described his transfer to the Blues as a ‘dream move’.
And the exciting teenager, who prefers to be known as ‘Mola’, also revealed the chance to develop his game under manager Ronald Koeman was one of the deciding factors in his decision to join the Club.
Lookman said: “It feels great to be an Everton player.
“As soon as I heard about Everton’s interest I knew this would be the right place for me.
“Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager.
“When you look at what he did at Southampton, and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction.
“It was great playing in The Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I’m ready to make the step up to the Premier League.”
Happy to welcome his latest recruit to Goodison Park, manager Ronald Koeman said: “Ademola is a big talent and, at 19 years old, he has a big future in the game. I’m really happy that we’ve been able to bring him here to the Club.
“This is part of the vision we have for the Club and it’s important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve.
“We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the Club.”
Born in Wandsworth, south west London, Lookman learned his trade at local junior club Waterloo FC before being snapped up by Charlton’s Academy in the summer of 2014.
He swiftly moved through the Addicks’ Under-18 and development sides (notching 17 goals in 28 games for the Under-18s in 2014/15) before earning a senior debut in November 2015, a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday.
His maiden senior goal came a month later when he registered in a 3-2 defeat at Brighton but he would remain a regular all season and finished the campaign with five goals.
Despite Charlton being relegated from the Championship that season, Lookman was named the EFL Championship Apprentice of the Year and the good news continued as he was called up to the England Under-19 squad for the European Championships, where Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly were teammates. He was later called up for an England Under-20s squad alongside Kenny, Connolly, Kieran Dowell and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Lookman continued to impress in League One and increasingly became the main focus of Charlton’s attacking threat.
He has scored seven times for the Addicks in 2016/17 before the Blues’ swoop to bring him to Goodison Park, where he joins an exciting crop of young first team players that includes Tom Davies, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.