Ademola Lookman admits he ‘still feels like he’s dreaming’ after completing his switch from Charlton Athletic to Everton.
The 19-year-old winger, who has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of working under Ronald Koeman
, became the Blues’ first signing of the January transfer window on Thursday.
Lookman was playing for London amateur side Waterloo FC just three years ago. And after penning a four-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park, he reflected on his rapid rise to the top of the English football pyramid.
“I still feel like I’m dreaming,” he explained. “It’s amazing to think only three years ago I was playing on uneven pitches in parks.
“Everton is a huge club. I watched lots of games growing up and the atmosphere at Goodison Park was something that always caught my eye.
“I know about the great history Everton has - and, of course, the big rivalry that exists with Liverpool.
“I can’t wait to get started here. I want to establish myself in the team, but I also want achieve things and help the Club win trophies.”
In his early teenage years, Lookman began at Waterloo FC before impressing in a friendly against Charlton Athletic.
The England Under-20 international went on to sign for the Addicks, quickly progressing through the ranks to make his first-team debut as a 65th-minute substitute against MK Dons in November 2015.
Lookman’s subsequent performances did not go unnoticed, with Everton’s new number 31 turning down offers to move away from The Valley in each of the previous two transfer windows before deeming a move to Merseyside too tempting to resist.
“I was playing for Waterloo and I knew there was an upcoming match against Charlton,” he added. “I managed to make the squad, but I didn’t start. Fortunately, I came off the bench and made enough of an impact to impress their head of recruitment, who asked me to come down for a trial.
“I was successful in the trial. It was a bit difficult because I’d been at Waterloo for five years with friends that I’d known since primary school. So, it took a bit of adjustment but as soon as I got into the routine at Charlton, I loved it.
“Making my first-team debut for Charlton was nerve-racking. I got a call from the gaffer while I was warming up on the sideline and he told me to put my shin pads on. I thought, ‘Oh wow, it’s actually happening’.
“But once I stepped on to the pitch and got a few touches of the ball, all the nerves eased away and I just went from there.”