Non-league to Premier League: Can new Crystal Palace ace emulate Vardy?
Crystal Palace are hoping to become the latest Premier League team to strike gold by signing a player from the lower reaches of the football pyramid.
Encouraged by the rise of players like Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin, the Eagles are said to be considering a permanent deal for Margate striker Freddie Ladapo.
The 23-year-old spent the 2014-15 season on loan at Grays Athletic from Kidderminster Harriers and after netting 17 goals in 35 matches became hot property in non-league circles.
His impressive displays earned him a permanent move to big-spending Margate where he has already scored more than 20 goals this season.
It was his performances at Margate that caught the eye of Eagles scouts and since being picked up by the south London club the talented hitman has been busy showing off his talents.
And, after hitting a hat-trick for the reserves Ladapo looks set to snub a deal at Grimsby Town in order to pursue his Premier League dreams with a contract at Palace.
The Eagles currently sit just two places and seven points above the relegation zone and with just 32 goals scored this season it’s clear the problems lie in attack.
Of the six recognised strikers on the Eagles’ books only two have netted this season. Connor Wickham has hit five goals in 15 appearances, while Emmanuel Adebayor has a solo strike to show for his seven outings so far. Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh have played 10 games each without finding the net, while Kwesi Appiah is yet to feature in league action.
Palace’s strikeforce are next in action away to high-flying West Ham and are 14/5 to beat the Irons. Fall flat again and it wouldn’t shock many to see Ladapo get his chance sooner rather than later.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.