Former Celtic manager Rodgers wanted to sign Ademola Lookman in 16-17
Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers wanted to sign Ademola Lookman when the Englishman was at Charlton.
Lookman, now at Leicester City on loan from RB Leipzig, broke through at Charlton Athletic in 15-16. In January 2017, Everton signed the young forward for £11m [BBC].
Rodgers was clearly looking for value in England when he took the Celtic job. Moussa Dembelé arrived from Fulham, while Scott Sinclair and Christian Gamboa also came from Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion, respectively.
With Lookman now under Rodgers’ tutelage, the ex-Celtic boss said [Leicester Mercury]:
“I’m really excited about working with Ade. He’s a top talent. I wanted to take him to Celtic when he was at Charlton. I was aware of him when he was 15.
“He has all the tools, he has a great dribbling ability, how he views the game, he has an eye for a goal.
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“My hope is that this environment will give him a chance to flourish. Hopefully he can find a home here. I have no doubt the supporters will be excited by him.”
A real sliding doors moment for former Celtic boss Rodgers and Ademola Lookman
Given that Everton would end up paying £11m for Lookman, he was probably a player that was out of our price range.
It might’ve been achievable very early in the summer window. But Lookman scorched League One with 5 goals and 2 assists before his mid-season move [Transfermarkt].
No matter; Rodgers ended up leading Celtic to an Invincible Treble, something that might never be repeated in the domestic game. Also, it’s hardly as if we were short of exciting attacking players at the time.
It might’ve been a more stable learning environment for Lookman, though. At Everton, Lookman made an impact early on, before RB Leipzig loaned the winger in the second half of the 17-18 campaign.
He did enough in the Bundesliga to earn a £22.5m move [BBC]. Since then, though, the Leipzig side have loaned Lookman out to Fulham, and now Leicester City.
Might life have been more straight-forward for Lookman had he moved to Celtic under Rodgers? It’s impossible to know.
One thing’s for sure though; 5 years later, Rodgers got his man.