Ademola Lookman has assured new Everton boss Sam Allardyce he is ready to seize any opportunity afforded him ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
The 20-year-old winger staked his claim to be involved against Liverpool with a first-half brace in Cyprus on Thursday night, when a Toffees team led by Craig Shakespeare and Duncan Ferguson beat Apollon Limassol 3-0.
A long-standing medical appointment meant Allardyce had remained at home along with the bulk of the squad he will take to Anfield, but Lookman’s impressive performance will have given him some food for thought over his possible role.
Lookman’s double in Nicosia, the second of which was a sweet strike from distance, has imbued him with confidence prior to Everton’s attempt to secure a first victory at Liverpool’s ground since 1999.
“I believe in my ability; I know what I can do,” said Lookman.
“It’s always good to play and enjoy your football and I did that on Thursday, hopefully it showed.
“(The Liverpool game) is out of my control. I can only do what I do on the football pitch. Once I get my opportunity I will take it.”
It was the first time Lookman had scored for Everton since he netted four minutes into his debut 11 months earlier in a 4-0 win over Manchester City at Goodison Park.
Since then he has become a World Cup winner, as part of the victorious England Under-20s squad, with two of his colleagues in South Korea, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke, having recently received senior call-ups from Gareth Southgate.
Lookman harbours aspirations of doing likewise and is confident he can fulfil his potential having joined the Toffees from Charlton nearly a year ago.
“I have played with them for a couple of years and to see them doing that is nice; they deserve it,” Lookman added of Cook and Solanke’s senior recognition. “I don’t see why I can’t follow in their footsteps.
“It is a big club, Everton, and I am still learning, still young. With time I think everything will come.”