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Ademola Lookman: José Peseiro’s misused profile

Ademola Lookman scored twice for Atalanta as they picked up a last-gasp 3-2 win over AC Milan in front of their fans at the Gewiss Stadium and move up to seventh on the log.

In what was a cagey encounter between both sides, it took 38 minutes for the opening goal to arrive, and it did with a huge slice of luck. Nigerian forward Lookman took a shot which was on target, and a deflection helped it on its path into the back of the net.

With the scores level in the second half, the former Fulham and Leicester City man showed great instinct to score his second, ghosting into the box to smash home a low cross from Charles De Ketelaere.

Lookman took his tally to five for Atalanta this season, a testament to his ability in front of goal, but he has largely been unable to replicate his goalscoring performance in Nigerian green.

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini plays a 3-5-2 formation usually, with Lookman playing as one half of a two-man strike force and granted the license to roam about the left half-space and into the box. His second goal came after he moved from the left half-space into the box, as he is prone to do.

With the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro utilises Lookman as a traditional winger in his 4-3-3 setup, keeping the Atalanta man further from goal than he would like, and reducing his impact on games.

The 25-year-old does not need to be saddled with the responsibility of holding the width and trying to send crosses into the box when his superior strength lies in his ability to stick the ball in the back of the net.

With the AFCON just around the corner, much will hinge on the manager being able to profile his players correctly and play them where they will thrive. Unless this is done, the Super Eagles may not fly in Abidjan.

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