African Soccer HQ: Has Ademola Lookman Redeemed Herself?

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The Nigerian star was a laughingstock earlier this season but responded in style against Leicester City.

Ademola Lookman has been one of the biggest talking points at African football headquarters so far this season, with Malek Shafei and Ed Dove taking very different stances on the Anglo-Nigerian star.

There is no doubt that he had something to prove when he arrived at Fulham on loan from RasenBallsport Leipzig at the start of the campaign.

While the Bundesliga upstarts enjoyed a successful season last time, looking like outsiders to the title for much of the year and also enjoying a long Champions League career, Lookman was a peripheral figure throughout.

His move to Germany was destined to be a new beginning; The youngster hadn’t made the breakthrough at Everton, he was only used in starts and starts with Marco Silva, and a return to the Bundesliga made sense.

After all, Lookman had enjoyed some success in Germany early in his career, while on loan at Leipzig, and has rarely shown that form since that stint in the Bundesliga.

Moving to Fulham was a gamble, the Cottagers were almost everyone’s favorite to go down, but Lookman had a chance to show he could make a difference in the top flight.

His early successes, the good shot against Sheffield United, were completely undermined by his miserable outing against West Ham United, when he took one of the weakest penalty kicks he’s probably ever seen.

The failure of Lookman’s panenka threatened to define his career, as the youngster’s surprise cost Fulham a point and elicited an irate response from the generally affable Scott Parker.

The former England midfielder urged Lookman to learn from his mistakes and bounce back stronger, while the young forward took responsibility for his moment of insanity and corrected the way forward.

Since then, he has been in excellent shape; he scored in a loss to his former club, Everton, and then opened the scoring on Monday when Leicester City were eliminated.

Enough has been done to earn the respect of some parts of Fulham’s fan base, and while he may not be fully redeemed yet, it does at least offer hope that Londoners can get through the drop.

It is true that they may crash against Manchester City again on Saturday, but with Lookman in the song, they are at least hoping to get over the fall.

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