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How I transformed Ademola Lookman into a world-class player – Gasperini

How I transformed Ademola Lookman into a world-class player – Gasperini

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has revealed the secret to getting the best out of Nigerian international Ademola Lookman since he joined the club two seasons ago.

Since arriving at the club, Lookman has become one of the top wingers in the Italian Serie A, scoring 21 goals, providing 15 assists in 61 Serie A games, and netting 31 times with 17 assists in 77 games across all competitions.

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Last season, he finished as the club’s top scorer in the league with 13 goals, and scored 10 goals this season, making him the club’s third-best scoring league player alongside Charles De Ketelaere. He also scored the hat-trick that led them to winning the biggest trophy in the club’s history, beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-0.

Ademola Lookman celebrating a goal with teammates

Speaking about Lookman’s impact since joining the club, Gasperini credited his success to simply helping him unlock his innate potential. “I don’t transform anyone, I just bring out what was inside them,” Gasperini said, referring to his approach with Lookman and striker Gianluca Scamacca.

“The secret is that they are talented. I don’t transform anyone, I cannot add anything, I just bring out what was inside them,” Gasperini told La Gazzeta dello Sport. 

“They become strong if they were already strong. Work on their mentality is fundamental, you have to be convincing to players. It might take months, but it unlocks something.”

“Lookman is a top player today, but he wasn’t before. He was strong but tended to light up in flashes and at other times would disappear from the game. He was the same in training sessions.

“I worked with him using the patience of an artisan craftsman. What he did in the last few weeks feels like his maturity. He wants the ball, participates in the game, works with his teammates.”

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