Youngsters need to move on to get games
Everton have been criticised for the way they handled youngster Ademola Lookman prior to his departure from the club so should he have had more chances?
The England Under-21 star has headed back to Germany to join up with RB Leipzig for a second time, after spending half a season on loan with the Bundesliga side back in 2018, but he has made a slow start to his second spell at the club.
The 21-year-old has seen just 11 minutes of action since he re-joined the side on a permanent basis back in July and that came in a substitute appearance and he did not feature in their Champions League game with Benfica on Tuesday night, which they won.
Leipzig manager Julien Nagelsmann has questioned Everton over their usage of Lookman during his spell at the club and hinted he should have played more often.
Current Everton boss Marco Silva handed Lookman just six starts in all competitions last season and the winger has consistently found game time hard to come by since his high profile move to the club from Charlton back in January 2017.
Nagelsmann said: “Some new signings still need a bit of development time because they did not have the regular game time at their previous clubs.
“Experience has shown that newcomers usually take a little longer to get along with what I want.
“With a player like Ademola Lookman, who played very little at Everton, it takes more time than with Christopher Nkunku, who made 29 games at PSG last year. That’s completely normal.”
It was a thinly-veiled dig at Everton for not giving Lookman more game time at the club but it is hard to blame Silva or any of his predecessors for that.
Youngsters move around in football all the time and there is always a great buzz around a player when he makes a big move from the lower leagues to a bigger club, as there was when Lookman moved to Everton.
The fact he has never quite made the grade is not the manager’s fault as his priority is the first team and he cannot afford to allow players to coast along in that team whilst they try and find their feet.
Lookman, who was part of England’s World Cup winning Under-20 side in 2017, is not the first to get a big move and then have to take a step backwards before they then can move forward again.
The winger has done the right thing by moving on to try and improve himself and he may yet make it at the highest level but it is up to the players themselves to force their way into managers plans and not for clubs to make special allowances.