Charlton boss Jose Riga has warned “wonderful” youngster Ademola Lookman of the dangers of sealing a move to the Premier League too early in his career.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are just three of a host of Premier League clubs who have signalled an interest in the 18-year-old.

Lookman broke into the Addicks’ first-team in November, scoring three goals in three games including a first-half brace against Bolton.

Riga says he is very impressed by the forward, but insists that making a leap to the top flight may be detrimental to his development.

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The Belgian, speaking in his first press conference as Charlton manager, said: “I have seen him now, he was injured but he trained in part of the training session, and he’s a very good player.

“A young, fresh player, wonderful.

“To manage the future I hope we can do it in favour of Charlton and in favour of the player.

“Sometimes young players and people around them want to go too fast – not all of them are able to face [the leap].

“Sometimes it is better to stay, and then when you go [to the Premier League] you will stay there. The most difficult thing is not to arrive but to stay.”

Lookman’s impressive development at the Valley was halted by a hamstring injury, leaving him sidelined since December 28.

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Riga admitted that he remains an injury doubt for Saturday’s clash with Blackburn.

The 58-year-old said: “He has been part of training sessions but we will decide because we don’t want to take any risks.

“I prefer to make a daily evaluation, we will not take any risks because we still have 19 games and he’s a very young player.

“It’s his first real injury so perhaps he doesn’t know himself how to manage it so we need to be careful. Because of course, his only idea is ‘I want to play’ – but we need to manage it.”

When asked by News Shopper whether he was confident that Lookman will still be a Charlton player when the window closes, Riga said: “Yeah, I hope so. But we take it step-by-step.

“He is a player of Charlton.”

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