Everton new boy Ademola Lookman attracted by Ronald Koeman's development skills

 
Joe Hall
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Lookman (c): "I'm ready to make the step up" (Source: Getty)

Everton's new teenage signing Ademola Lookman says manager Ronald Koeman's record at developing young players convinced him to join the Premier League club.

The highly-rated 19-year-old has become most expensive player ever signed from a League One side after The Toffees agreed a deal worth up to £11m with Charlton.

His performances both on the wing and up front for the Addicks raised interest from Liverpool and Arsenal, but Lookman said Everton boss Koeman's record with young players convinced him to sign a four-and-a-half year deal at Goodison Park.

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"As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me," said the diminutive winger.

"Everton has a big history and I was also attracted by the manager. When you look at what he did at Southampton and what he does with young players in terms of developing them, that was a big attraction.

"It was great playing in the Championship last season and for the last six months in League One but I feel like I'm ready to make the step up to the Premier League."

Lookman, who only joined the Charlton academy as a 17-year-old in 2014 from Sunday league outfit Waterloo FC, notched 12 goals and three assists in 49 first team appearances after making his debut in November 2015.

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His performances last season earned him the EFL Championship Apprentice of the Year award and a place in the England U-19 squad for this summer's European Championships.

Koeman said the capture of a talented prospect like Lookman was part of Everton's long-term vision but warned that his impact at the club might not be immediate.

"This is part of the vision we have the club and it's important to give to young players the opportunity so that the team continues to evolve and improve," said the Dutchman.

"We believe in the player and in the development of the player which, of course, will take time but he will have a big part to play in the future of the club."

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