Everton forward Ademola Lookman has dismissed reports that he is unhappy at the Blues, and feels ready to contribute more to Marco Silva’s side.
Lookman was loaned to German club RB Leipzig last January after a reportedly uneasy relationship with then-manager Sam Allardyce, and after impressing in the Bundesliga, was the subject of a big from the Bundesliga outfit in the summer.
But speaking to the Liverpool ECHO, Lookman said that, while he is grateful for the experience of playing abroad, he is happy to be playing his football with the Toffees again:
“Football is football. I love playing football and I am glad to do that every single day. It is not a case of me being sad. I am just happy to play football.
“People said at the time I was crazy to go to Germany but I saw it as another experience and another learning curve for me. I’m glad I did go.
“I learnt about being more of a goal threat and showing what I can do. Showing my worth to the team - that is the next step for me.”
Lookman is one of several English youngsters who have sought more first team opportunities in Germany, with fellow prodigies Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson leaving the Premier League for the Bundesliga, and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi interesting Bayern Munich.
While the 21-year-old admits it was hardly similar life in England, he feels he has returned to Goodison Park a better footballer for the experience at Leipzig, where he scored five goals in 11 appearances:
“Everyone’s scenario is different, all our situations are different, so I think it is about the experience because wherever you go you can say you are going to play, but you have to prove it. It is an experience, learning new football, learning a new style, just being around it.
“It was different football [in Germany], but I wouldn’t say it was daunting. It was just another experience, take it in your stride and get used to it.”
Lookman opened his goalscoring account for this season on Saturday, heading in the Blues’ first goal in a 2-1 win over Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round at Goodison.
He has had to be patient under new boss Silva, starting just one Premier League match this term, but reiterated that he is, and always has been content at the Toffees:
“It was just one of those cases.
“I wasn’t unhappy. I had no choice but to work hard. It’s my job. I love to do it wherever I am. I have to work hard. I’m happy here.”