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Silva: Lookman’s time will come

Blues boss says winger’s first league start isn’t far away and provides pre-derby injury update

Everton FC v Cardiff City - Premier League
Lookman made another big impression off the bench against Cardiff last weekend
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Marco Silva feels Ademola Lookman’s recent form will soon earn him his first league start this season if he continues in the same vein.

Lookman, 21, was heavily linked with a move to German club RB Leipzig in the summer after spending the second half of last campaign on loan at the Bundesliga side.

But after a deal having never materialized, the winger’s cameo performances for the Blues have impressed to such an extent that many believe he now warrants a starting berth, a feeling manager Silva agrees with.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Liverpool this weekend, Silva said:

“[He is] doing more than enough to play in our starting 11. When I take that decision [to start Lookman], he will deserve it. He is doing a fantastic job every day here at Finch Farm and for sure, it reflects on the matches as well.”

The Anfield Merseyside Derby was a fixture Lookman made a great impact on last season; with the Reds leading 1-0 in an FA Cup third round tie, the youngster came off the bench to help start the counter attack which led to Gylfi Sigurðsson’s equaliser.

Against Cardiff City on Saturday, he was his typical lively self on the right wing, and was unfortunate not to score from close range after being introduced in the 73rd minute.

Silva says the player knows how happy he is with him, and understands that he wants to feature more regularly for the Toffees:

“I am really happy with him. I know what he wants; his desire is to play more minutes, to start the matches as well, and the way he is working, his time will come. I don’t have doubts about that.

“He knows my opinion as well and this is the Lookman I told you all about since the first moment; it was my expectation about his quality and about his talent.”

Silva also confirmed that his squad has clean bill of health ahead of the trip across Stanley Park on Sunday, after the first few months of the season saw Everton ravaged by injuries and suspensions:

“[It is] all good news for us. We hope tomorrow [Saturday] to keep it the same way.”