ENGLISH Premier League side Crystal Palace are looking to sign Nigerian striker Ademola Lookman on a season-long loan as part of manager Patrick Vieira’s ongoing programme to significantly strengthen his squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Former Arsenal skipper Viera was recently appointed as the Palace manager and immediately began signing creative players as a way of making his team more competitive. His first recruit was Nigerian playmaker Michael Olise, who he signed up on a five year deal from English Championship side Reading.
Now, Viera is looking to take this a step further by bringing Lookman the Leipzig forward who played on loan at Fulham last season to Selhurst Park. A dashing winger with a lot of pace and trickery, Lookman, 23, is fancied by Burnley and Watford but the Bundesliga club’s request of a £3.5m loan fee, plus wages of £50,000 a week, are too much for other admirers.
However, Palace may be able to afford the player as Vieira has been given funds to spend this summer after taking over from veteran manager Roy Hodgson. If Lookman joins Palace, he will play alongside compatriots Olise and Eberechi Eze, another creative playmaker.
Born in England to Nigerian parents, Lookman, who signed a five year deal with Leipzig in July 2019, is eligible for the national teams of both Nigeria and England. However, in January this year, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) revealed that Lookman applied to Fifa for a switch of nationality that will enable him to play for the Super Eagles during the World Cup qualifiers.
Since then, however, nothing has been heard of his application and with African Nations Cup qualifiers looming, the NFF wants Fifa to fast-track his application. Last year, Fifa managed to fast-track the switch of centreback Kevin Akpoguma who had played for the German youth team but opted for Nigeria at senior level and NFF officials are hoping for a similar speedy approval for Lookman.