After forcing a move to RB Leipzig and the Bundesliga, Everton loanee Ademola Lookman made a dream start to life in Germany, becoming the first Englishman to score here since 2005, and has kept his first-team place with last season’s runners-up. In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, the 20-year-old London-born forward talks about his time in Leipzig so far, the story of his lucky boots and compares the Bundesliga with the English Premier League.
Ademola Lookman on...
... his first impressions of RB Leipzig
So friendly. The people here welcomed me. I came here on deadline day, and the way they welcomed me and made me feel at home here was very important. Just in terms of the facilities and everything that’s been given to me - I’m very grateful.
Watch: Ademola Lookman's dream debut!
... his relationship with Ralph Hasenhüttl
The coach just wants me to express myself, to show people and show what I can do because I have a lot of strengths, and he wants me strengths to become even bigger strengths. That’s what he wants me to do.
... his important debut goal
I just like scoring goals whenever I get the chance to. Fate, God – I scored on both of my debuts. It’s nice to score on your debut but obviously I want to make that consistent and keep on scoring goals. Not on my debuts but off my debuts and more.
... the situation with his boots on his debut
In England I always wore blades, so I thought it’s what I’ve become accustomed to so would keep on wearing blades, but the surface here in Germany is a lot different to the surfaces in England. In Germany it’s better if you wear studs because you have more grip. That was just a mistake I made, and I was slipping and sliding all over the place.
... whether he has a special place for those boots
I have them, I kept them – they’re somewhere special and safe.
... his greatest strengths
I think dribbling, going past people, creating opportunities for others and scoring goals.
... his biggest weaknesses
I wouldn’t say I have a weakness... I don’t have a weakness, no.
... the Bundesliga
It’s different to the Premier League. The Premier League is a lot more physical, but most of the teams here like to play football in terms of more passing and moving. It’s a lot different to the Premier League.
... the fans in the Bundesliga
The fans never stop singing for the whole 90 minutes. It’s a good feeling to be on the pitch when fans are singing for 90 minutes - it gives you a real confidence boost.
... whether he’s been surprised by the Bundesliga
I’ve watched highlights when I was in England, I’ve watched highlights of the Bundesliga loads of times, so I knew what it was about, I knew the teams here and I knew what type of football they played.
... his favourite Bundesliga players
Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich and Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund. Top players. Just their style of play: they’re fast, like to dribble, good passers of the ball. Just their style of play - I like their style of play.
Watch: Lookman: "I like it here"
... his personal goals for the season
I think to score as many goals as I can and to get as much assists as I can and help the team because it’s important that I’m important to the team. I want to show my importance to the team and show how valuable I am to the team, and just help the team progress.
... his aims at Leipzig
I think we need to take every game as it comes because if we’re looking far ahead we won’tbe able to focus on the tasks that lie in front of us. I think we’re in a good way now, and if we keep on giving our best every single match, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.
I’d say I’m quiet, hardworking, intelligent and skilful.
... how the last year has been for him
Amazing. The last year: We won the World Cup in South Korea, which was unbelievable because the way we played out there and the things we achieved out there with the group of people we had out there, it was just amazing. But I think the past year has been very challenging as well for me because I haven't really been playing consistently as much as I would’ve liked, which is something I’ve taken onboard, I’ve dealt with the situation and I hope to continue to deal with challenges because life’s all about challenges. Never give up.
... his aims with England
It’s always nice to make the senior team, for sure, and that’s one of my aspirations, but we’ll see what the future holds.