Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is believed to be interested in Charlton Athletic forward Ademola Lookman, according to former manager Ian Holloway. The 18-year-old has been a revelation this season, breaking into the first team at The Valley before going on to score four goals in 20 Championship appearances in an otherwise dismal campaign for the club.
The Addicks are destined to drop into League One and take on already relegated Bolton Wanderers on 19 April with their status in the second tier hanging by a thread. Lookman, who has a contract until 2020, has been one of the success stories however and was named the Championship Apprentice of the Year at The Football League Awards following his stunning breakthrough.
Holloway, formerly of Blackpool, expects a host of big clubs to be tracking Lookman – who is also a target for Tottenham Hotspur according to The Daily Mail – not least Arsenal, who have a history of signing the best players from the capital having captured Carl Jenkinson from Charlton in 2011. The ex-Crystal Palace boss has compared the player to Wilfried Zaha, who he worked with at Selhurst Park prior to the player joining Manchester United.
"They'll do well to keep Lookman in the summer," he told Sky Sports. "He's going to be a sought-after commodity. The vultures will be circling around him. He reminds me of Joel Campbell at Arsenal. It wouldn't surprise me if Arsene Wenger is interested.
"He's very, very quick and has a sharp brain. He throws a shoulder one way and then he's gone, a bit like Wilfried Zaha. Both of them can tie people in knots when they get you one-on-one. Lookman is good enough to be picked up by one of the top clubs in the Premier League."
Though Lookman would represent the addition of an exciting young player, another season that has seen Arsenal fail to mount a credible title challenge is likely to see fans demand big name marquee additions in the summer rather than individuals for the future. Former midfielder Ray Parlour says Wenger must make big signings during the off-season after being leap-frogged by Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the title race.
"They will be disappointed, they had a really good chance of winning the league. They have come up short again," Parlour, a three-time title winner with Arsenal, told Sky Sports News HQ. "[Wenger] needs to make some big signings, there is no doubt about that. In the summer transfer window they need to go out and get these players to put them on to the next level like City and clubs like that because it is going to be such a competitive league next year."