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Lookman: Atalanta reveal why 'excited' Nigerian was substituted in Serie A outing

5:45 PM GMT 29/08/2022
Ademola Lookman
The Super Eagles winger was rewarded with a start last weekend but did not satisfy the technical bench and was replaced after the first half

Atalanta BC manager Gian Piero Gasperini has conceded Nigeria international Ademola Lookman was not at his best on Sunday and had to be replaced after the first half against Hellas Verona at Marc'Antonio Bentegodi Stadium.

After coming in as a substitute in past Serie A games against Sampdoria and AC Milan, the former Leicester City winger was handed a start last weekend. However, he struggled in the match, losing possession seven times and completing just 67 percent of his passes.

The tactician substituted him and the visitors, eventually, got the winner courtesy of Teun Koopmeiners who found the back of the net five minutes after the pause.

Gasperini has now justified his decision to replace the Super Eagles attacker in the aforementioned Italian top-tier assignment.

"Lookman had done well in the segments he entered [in the past]; perhaps [on Sunday] he was a little excited," the 64-year-old Italian said as quoted by Tutto Mercato Web

"He lost a lot of balls, and also for that we were unable to restart him [after] the first half."

Prior to the Sunday game, the 24-year-old ex-RB Leipzig player had featured in a friendly game against Sporting Franciacorta and scored as his team secured a 3-1 win.

In the 2021/22 campaign, Lookman played for Premier League side Leicester City - albeit on loan from Bundesliga outfit Leipzig.

He made 32 appearances in all matches and went on to score eight goals. The English side, however, did not purchase him on a permanent basis and he returned to his parent club.

Atalanta felt they needed him and they signed him; he has since played three Serie A matches for them.

The winger hopes to be involved on Thursday when his team host Torino at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo in the Italian top-tier match. Atalanta are currently placed fourth on the table with seven points.