Marco Silva has opened up for the first time about the sale of England U-21 international Ademola Lookman.
The former Charlton winger returned to RB Leipzig this summer on a permanent deal nearly a year after impressing for the Bundesliga side on a short-term loan, with BBC Sport reporting that the Champions League team paid £22.5m for the youngster.
And nearly two months since the deal, Silva has spoken up about why he chose to sell the exciting youngster in an interview with The Liverpool Echo, with the former Watford boss admitting that he initially didn’t want to see Lookman.
Silva said: “He (Lookman) spoke to me at the end of the season about what he wanted to do and what was his desire. Like you know, at the beginning of last season he spoke to me about his desire to leave the club. I said no, no and no, even if we received a very good offer to sell him, for our structure, no because I saw in him, and I keep seeing in him (his quality).”
Despite impressing for Leipzig in the 2017/18 season, Lookman was nothing but a bit-part player in Silva’s first year in charge of the Toffees, with numbers from Transfermarkt showing that the 21-year-old started just three Premier League games and scored once in all competitions.
Yet despite this severe lack of first-team minutes, Silva claims that Lookman is a player who he sees has quality and talent about him, but certain elements of his game needed to change.
The Portuguese managers said: “The quality is there, he has to change some things, but the quality is there. The most difficult thing, he has the quality and the talent. In football you see many people with talent who don’t achieve but I believe he will achieve good things in his career.”
Leipzig manager recently criticised Silva’s use of Lookman via The Liverpool Echo, claiming that a lack of first-team football over the past 12 months means that it will take time for the England youth international to begin featuring for the east German side.