By Noel Whelan

11th Jan, 2020 | 7:53pm

Exclusive: Pundit claims Everton may have made 2019 blunder as PL rivals on brink of new signing

Noel Whelan claims that Everton made a blunder selling Ademola Lookman last summer as Newcastle United close in on his capture.

The former Leeds striker and current broadcast pundit, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Toffees tried to replace the RB Leipzig winger with Alex Iwobi but that the move has not paid off yet.

As exclusively revealed by Football Insider, Newcastle United are on the brink of on a loan-to-buy move for Lookman, with the Magpies hoping they can wrap up a deal before the start of next week.

Having seen Lookman leave Goodison Park for Germany last summer, Whelan says he thinks the Merseyside outfit made a mistake and that he could have done a better job than their big-money signing.

Asked if Lookman had a point to prove after his Everton exit, Whelan told Football Insider: “Yeah, absolutely. They’ve sold a player there and gone out and got Iwobi who’s not really hit the heights at Everton. 

“They would probably have been better off keeping Lookman, putting him into the side and giving him that opportunity. I’m sure every player, when you leave a certain club and you come back to play, they want to prove a point.

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“I don’t think he needs too much to prove. He’s obviously wants to come back home and is obviously desperate for a club that will let him play in the hardest league in the world.” 

Lookman played 48 times for Everton before leaving Goodison Park, scoring four goals and contributing two assists as he was used primarily as backup for the first team.

Meanwhile, Iwobi has 20 appearances, two goals and an assist under his belt since moving from Arsenal.

In other Everton news, Paul Robinson claims a senior star will be “watching over his shoulder” after the win over Brighton.