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Everton must offer first-team assurances to Ademola Lookman next season

The 20-year-old has found success in the Bundesliga.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

It is becoming a more common theme for young English players to move abroad in the hope of gaining first-team football. The Bundesliga is their most popular destination, with the likes of Reece Oxford, Jadon Sancho, Ryan Kent and Ademola Lookman all spending time there this season with differing levels of success.

Lookman only played a total of 154 minutes in the Premier League this season and that caused him to look elsewhere for the game-time he needed to further his development. RB Leipzig came in to take the winger on loan move and the 20-year-old has been an instant success in Germany.

He hasn’t been a first-team regular, but he has been given the chance to impress and has started three more league matches than he did with Everton in the first half of the season.

The young attacker has made quite the impression on the German club as sporting director Ralf Rangnick has already talked about his hopes of making Lookman’s stay at the club a longer one. The official Bundesliga website report the following quotes taken from an interview with Kicker:

“If it were only up to us, then I would already know the answer. But it’s not only up to us – there’s no option in his contract. We’ll have to see what happens in the summer, and it also depends on what happens at Everton.”

Considering the talent levels in the squad, it was unlikely that Lookman was going to arrive and cement a position in the starting eleven immediately. He would have realised that, but he has impressed in the game-time that he has been given.

(Photo by Robert Michael/Getty Images)

On his debut, he scored the winning goal against Borussia Monchengladbach and, last weekend, he got a crucial equaliser against Werder Bremen.

It can be difficult to adjust to a new country, especially at the age of 20, but Lookman has quickly adapted to his new surroundings and emerged as a good squad player for the German club.

The fact that he has only played 360 minutes mean the following stats need to be treated with caution, but the attacker has produced good numbers in the Bundesliga so far. He currently averages 2.25 chances created and two shots per ninety minutes, highlighting the impact he is having on matches in the final third.

This summer will be an interesting one for Lookman as there will be genuine interest in his services, with current loan club RB Leipzig leading the chase for his signature.

The uncertainty regarding Everton’s future means there is an opportunity for a club to take him from Goodison Park, but the Toffees need to do everything they can to keep hold of him.

The current wingers in the Everton side are Theo Walcott and Yannick Bolasie, who are 29 and 28 respectively. They have each had good Premier League careers, but their best years are likely behind them due to various injuries.

(Photo by Chara Savvides/Getty Images)

In Lookman, they have a player that can already impact matches now and has potential to develop into a more threatening attacker in the future.

If RB Leipzig come in with a big offer this summer, there might be a temptation to sell Lookman, but that would be a mistake.

Everton have ambitions to become the best of the rest and challenge to break into the top six, but it has become clear this season that their squad isn’t good enough to do that. They won’t be able to achieve those objectives if they sell their best young players as it will only create more recruitment work for them.

Lookman has proven his talent this season and pushed his development on while on loan with RB Leipzig. He has earned a first-team opportunity and it is now imperative that Everton provide one at the start of next season. Otherwise, they will lose one of their best young players.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.


Everton have Lucas Digne bid accepted, a player Jurgen Klopp wanted in 2016

The French left-back has been the subject of a £22m bid from Everton.

Mathew Nash



It appears that Everton have identified the left-back they want to sign this summer. Lucas Digne has been linked with the club in recent days. Now, according to the Mirror, Everton have agreed a £22 million fee with his club Barcelona.

Everton want a long-term replacement for Leighton Baines but decided against first-choice Kieran Tierney due to Celtic’s asking price for the Scotland international. Now Digne appears to be the first-choice.

This is not the first time that Digne has had the chance to head to Merseyside. In the summer of 2016, it was reported that Liverpool were after the Frenchman.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Mirror reported that Liverpool made an enquiry for the player in July 2016. But he headed to Barcelona instead. The Catalan club paid £13.8 million to sign the player from PSG, with Liverpool missing out.

“PSG already had an offer from a good English team but when we got in touch with the manager [he] told us that the player only wanted to come to Barcelona.”

-Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez after signing Digne

The Reds ended up playing James Milner at left-back that season, before signing Andrew Robertson a year ago.

Things have worked out for Liverpool, with Robertson a star player last term.

But Everton will love to bring in a player that Liverpool wanted just two years ago.

Digne, who thrived at Lille before struggling to break into the first-team at both PSG and Barcelona, also enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Roma in 2015-16.

With 21-caps for France and at only 25-years-old Everton will be getting a great player if Digne arrives. In an added bonus, a little burn on their local rivals will only make the deal sweeter.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Fresh Erik Lamela could be key for Tottenham Hotspur next season

Tottenham Hotspur will hope the Argentine can remain fit this season.

Mathew Nash



Tottenham Hotspur secured the long-term future of two first-team regulars this weekend, with Heung-min Son and Erik Lamela both signing new deals.

It has certainly not been plain sailing for either player during their time in North London. After a disappointing first season, the South Korean was nearly sold back to Germany. Lamela, on the other hand, has had to battle several injury and personal problems.

Signed in the wake of Gareth Bale’s exit to Real Madrid the Argentine became Tottenham’s record signing. Spurs paid Roma £30 million for the player in the summer of 2013.

But despite showing his best at times for Spurs and become a cult hero with one section of Tottenham fans, injuries have blighted him.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

There was back trouble first and then a hip problem. The latter kept him out of action for over a year.

After returning to action in November he started just seven Premier League games but this season could be huge for the 26-year-old.

He has already impressed in pre-season, netting a hat-trick against Southend United. After a bit-part 2017-18 season which saw Lamela nursing his way back into first-team football, he will be fully fit this term.

Fresh, fit and with the bit between his teeth Tottenham could have a different beast on their hands with Lamela this term.

Hopefully, he can discover the form he showcased in the 2015-16 campaign.

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Brighton and Hove Albion

Alireza Jahanbakhsh would be a statement of intent for Brighton

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Brighton and Hove Albion could be set to sign Alireza Jahanbakhsh as Chris Hughton looks to add another winger to his squad, according to The Argus. The Seagulls have already signed seven players during this close season, with the likes of Yves Bissouma, Bernardo, Florin Andone and Leon Balogun signing among others.

Hughton has wasted no time this summer and that is important if the club continues progressing in the Premier League. The previous seasons highlight the importance of being proactive, as those clubs that aren’t are often involved in relegation battles. Brighton’s main priority will be to stay up, but they are showing ambition and that should be commended.

Their signings to date have been impressive and show the scouting network in place at the club. However, Jahanbakhsh would be the headline arrival if he does arrive at the Amex Stadium.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The Iranian winger has been one of the standout players in the Eredivisie in recent years and he has the potential to be an exciting capture for a Premier League team. He showed flashes of his talent during the World Cup with Iran and he is now ready to test himself at a higher level.

Last season, he finished as the Eredivisie top scorer with 21 goals with one coming every 135 minutes in the competition. In addition to that, he contributed 12 assists and was regularly causing problems for opposition defences.

His feats are even more impressive considering he wasn’t playing for one of the top two teams. That said, his performances allowed AZ Alkmaar to finish above Feyenoord who had won the league as recently as the 2016/17 campaign.

The 24-year-old delivered consistency in the Eredivisie with 4.3 shots, 3.4 dribbles and 2.4 key passes. They are huge attacking numbers and underline the quality that he does possess. Although it is unlikely that he could reproduce these with a team like Brighton, he would represent an upgrade on their current options.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

He is best utilised as a right winger with freedom to remain in attacking positions, but he can play anywhere across the forward line.

The space allowed to players like Jahanbakhsh in the Eredivisie helped him deliver the goals and assists that he did. His goal-scoring took the headlines, but his passing range and quality delivery also stood out, as shown by his number of assists. The Iranian is never scared to attempt a high-risk pass.

Jahanbakhsh is a very good player to watch when he has the ball at his feet. He looks to commit defenders and beat them on the dribble with his close ball control and low centre of gravity. At times, his decision making is questionable as he often takes difficult shots, but there is no denying that he creates a lot of problems for defending teams.

This summer is the right time for Jahanbakhsh to make a move to a bigger league and at the age of 24, he would be an incredible addition for Brighton. His upside is huge and there would be potential to sell him on for an even larger fee in the future if he continues to develop at a rapid rate. There has been other reported interest from Leicester City, but the Seagulls will be hopeful of winning the race.


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