Jose Peseiro reckons that Ademola Lookman has benefited from defenders focusing their attention on stopping reigning African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which came to an end on Sunday night.
Lookman was not an unknown quantity prior to the Africa Cup of Nations, given the starring role he played in helping England win the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup and has represented clubs in three of the top five European leagues.
The winger rose to the occasion at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, registering three goals and one assist as the Super Eagles booked their place in the final and has also contributed defensively.
Born and raised in London, Lookman learned his footballing trade at Waterloo and then joined the Charlton Athletic academy, where he rose through the ranks to make his first team debut in November 2015.
Peseiro is pleased with Lookman’s adaptation to African football, approximately two years after he made his debut for the Super Eagles after switching his international allegiance from England to Nigeria.
“For a player who has trained in Europe, it is not easy to adapt to African football. It is a different football and Lookman has adapted very quickly,” Peseiro told reporters.
“He is about to reach the best level of him. He takes advantage of the fact that Osimhen focuses the attention of the defenders. The team has given Ademola many good things.”
Other dual-national players in the Super Eagles’ Africa Cup of Nations squad that chose Nigeria over other countries include Alex Iwobi (England), Ola Aina (England), Bright Osayi-Samuel (England), Semi Ajayi (England), Joe Aribo (England), Calvin Bassey (Italy) and William Troost-Ekong (Netherlands).