Former England international Peter Crouch has blamed Super Eagles forward Ademola Lookman for choosing to represent Nigeria instead of the three Lions of England.

Crouch who is now working as a pundit for TNT said Lookman was too much in a haste while choosing his international path as he couldn’t wait to play for England.

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The statement came in the aftermath of Lookman’s heroic display in the UEFA Europa League final after scoring a glorious hat-trick to help his side Atalanta become the first and only team this season to beat Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.

Lookman was the man of the match after his hat-trick and was awarded the official match ball as he took it upon himself to deliver the Europa league trophy to the Bergamo-based side.

Gian Piero Gasperini men produced a disciplined display to beat Leverkusen with Lookman scoring all the goals of the night.

The Nigerian international opened the scoring in the 17th minute before doubling his tally in what was later awarded as the goal of the tournament.

Lookman completed his hat-trick late on in the second half after riffling home from Leverkusen’s left side of the post.

The 26-year old later spoke with Peter Crouch and ex-England star Joe Cole who was on duty for TNT, expressing his delight for his superlative performance.

Crouch and Cole were full of praise for the former Everton and Leicester man as they couldn’t hold back their satisfaction in his performance.

“Honestly, this is why you play football,” Crouch said. “Somebody like Lookman, who’s been around, a footballing nomad at times, somebody who’s been Sunday League, to Charlton, to Fulham on loan, Leicester, Leipzig, he’s gone around the houses to get to the moment where he’s found a home today and scored a hat-trick in a European final. It’s an amazing story.

“Those fans will never forget the name of Ademola Lookman. It’s absolutely sensational.

“It’s really emotional for him. Obviously his family, I’m sure. It was a footballing masterclass from Gasperini. They were brilliant as a team, but I’m so pleased for Lookman.”

Joe Cole agreed, highlighting Lookman’s route to stardom, and his south London roots.

“For Lookman, a kid from Wandsworth, who played in the cages, playing street football, going around the houses, not finding a place where he’s at home, he’s found a home here,” Cole said.
“They will love him forever. His name will be etched into the club’s history. This is what the moments are all about.

“A kid, who couldn’t find a club, couldn’t find a home, super talented, he’s gone and done it. Fair play to him and his family. Enjoy the moment.”

Cole also waxed lyrical about the tactical masterstroke deployed by the Atalanta manager Gasperini.

“Gasperini is a really talented manager and he’s finally got the silverware at this club,” Cole continued.

“His quote, when talking about the Super League, he said ‘we as a club, we can give hope to the rest of football as a meritocracy’. It’s what makes the game beautiful.
“A little club like Atalanta can come and take on the greats of Europe and go and win.”

Crouch later said “if Lookman had been patient, he would have played for England instead of Nigeria.”