Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman fires South Africa and Benin Republic warning with Serie A record

Ademola Lookman (26) has sent a stern warning to South Africa and Benin Republic with a notable Serie A feat against Fiorentina.

The red-hot forward scored a goal and an assist, although Atalanta ended the Serie A season with a 3-2 loss to Fiorentina.

Coming off the back of victory over Torino, Gian Piero Gasperini welcomed Fiorentina to the Gewiss Stadium with the ambition of ending the season on a high.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who struck first as Andrea Belotti was teed up by Gaetano Castrovilli in the sixth minute.

The reigning Europa League champions levelled matters six minutes later thanks to Lookman who drilled home a fine shot past goalkeeper Tommaso Martinelli.

In the process, he became the only player to score at least 10 goals in home matches in Serie A in the 2023/24 campaign. That effort was also his 12th in the league this season.

The former Leicester City and RB Leipzig man also turned provider for Giorgio Scalvini in the 32nd minute, however, he ended on the losing side.

He was substituted for Gianluca Scamacca four minutes before the hour mark. Even with the home defeat, Atalanta ended the season in fourth place having garnered 69 points.

That means they will be featuring in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Can Lookman propel Nigeria to victory in qualifiers?

Lookman’s rich scoring form comes as a massive boost to the Nigeria national team who take on South Africa and Benin Republic in next week’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

With five goals from three outings, the former England youth international would be expected to lead the charge for Bafana Bafana and the Squirrels.

Following the absences of Napoli ace Victor Osimhen and Bayer Leverkusen’s Nathan Tella due to various reasons, Finidi George will be counting on the 26-year-old to get the job done for the three-time African champions.

Nigeria will be without Osimhen (R) for the qualifiers
Nigeria will be without Osimhen (R) for the qualifiersAFP

Lookman was one of Super Eagles’ stand-out performers at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. In Cote d’Ivoire, he contributed three goals as the West Africans finished as runners-up in the biennial African football showpiece.

He is expected to join the rest of the squad who are currently preparing for the June 7th showdown against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

What has been said about Lookman

Lookman’s blistering form has come as a surprise to everyone in the football world due to his less impressive outings in previous seasons.

Having scored 17  goals and registered nine assists across all competitions for Atalanta this season, his manager explained how he has helped him unlock his potential.

“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,” Gasperini was quoted by Football Italia as saying. 

“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.” 

Shina Oludare
Shina OludareFlashscore


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