Jamie Vardy’s rise to prominence with Leicester City has been looked upon as one of the feel-good football stories of the last 18 months, and now, Crystal Palace may be about to follow in the Foxes’ footsteps.
Alan Pardew and co. have decided to take Margate striker Freddie Ladapo on trial after an impressive run of goalscoring form for the National League South outfit, in the hopes of uncovering a genuine diamond in the rough.
The 23-year-old, who started his career at Colchester, attempted to prove himself in a number of loan spells at non-league clubs in his early years but left the club in 2014 to join Kidderminster Harriers.
Unfortunately, Ladapo struggled to break into the side and was loaned to Hayes & Yeading, then to Grays Athletic, where he bagged an impressive 14 goals in 26 games. At the start of 2015, Freddie cancelled his contract with Kidderminster by mutual consent, joining Margate FC on a free transfer the very next day, a move that has shown him to be a fantastic finisher.
Last night’s U21 game away to Watford was billed as Freddie’s chance to prove that he was good enough to earn a contract in SE25 having trained with the club for a few days, and after netting a hat-trick in a 5-0 win, we’d be very surprised if the coaches decide to let him drift away from our grasp without putting up a fight.
There is never any guarantee of long-term success with a deal such as this, but given the lack of risk attached to offering him a contract, it would seem a tad foolish on our part not to roll the dice in the hope of uncovering a potential star.