Sam Allardyce says Ademola Lookman’s inconsistency is why the winger hasn’t been a regular this season and prompted the youngster’s desire to go out on loan.
Lookman made the surprise move to RB Leipzig late on deadline day, just 48 hours after Allardyce said the former Charlton man would not be leaving.
The 20-year-old is believed to have pushed for a loan move in order to find regular football and insisted on heading to Germany, even though Allardyce warned him against such a move.
Unsurprisingly, Allardyce was quizzed about Lookman right at the top of his pre-Arsenal press conference.
The Toffees boss was asked whether a failure to guarantee Lookman regular first-team football was the key reason behind the deal, with Allardyce replying:
“I don’t guarantee anybody first team football here.
“We have a huge amount of players here fighting and scrapping for places. It’s a difficult task to get in the side. He hadn’t played much before I got here and it’s a consistency level which is the problem.
“Our inconsistency has been the problem even with our senior players, but I have to keep emphasising this, because it doesn’t get enough publicity, we are the top team to play youngsters in every division in this country.
“We play more youngsters per minute in all of the professional leagues in this country. So we do have a lot of youngsters getting in the side and getting huge experience but everybody knows this is the hardest place to play football at 21 and 22 and younger.
“But youngsters have had the opportunity here.”
Allardyce was then asked whether he really wanted to keep Lookman at the club, given his comments earlier in the week.
“I was, but he insisted, so rather than have a player who has going to have the wrong attitude around the place, we allowed him to go.
“He wanted to play some football, but I wasn’t very keen on it based on the fact that we’d already let Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas go, but he really wanted to play some football.
“We had another offer from a top Championship club as well but he chose Leipzig. Hopefully he will get a lot of football in the Bundesliga, but for me it is a very very difficult challenge for anybody, especially somebody at such a young age.
“He has a lot of talent from the football point of view, but from cultural point of view and a language point of view he could find that difficult.”
The majority of Everton fans were disappointed to see Lookman leave on loan and feel he has not been given a fair chance by Allardyce.
Inconsistency is to be expected from someone so young, but that will only improve with game time.
Some fans have also questioned why other, more senior players continue to get games despite being just as inconsistent.
However, they also respect Lookman’s desire to play regular football and if he isn’t going to get that at Goodison, he is better heading out on loan.
It is also a very brave decision to head to a foreign division, an experience that should make him a better player.
Toffees fans will be hoping Lookman can feature regularly for Leipzig in the next few months and return to the club in the summer a better and more rounded player.