A number of young players have impressed when being sent out on loan from Crystal Palace in recent years, a trend that has been kept up by striker Freddie Ladapo at Shrewsbury Town of late.
Despite coming to the attention of the Palace scouting team in unconventional circumstances, the 23-year-old frontman has worked extremely hard to prove himself since making the switch to SE25 from Margate, a statement born out by his recent efforts to impress with The Shrews.
Indeed, their precarious position in the League One table (they currently sit just two points above the relegation zone) would have been made far worse had the aforementioned striker not bagged the all-important goal in back-t0-back 1-0 victories against Bradford and Oldham at New Meadow, relieving some of the pressure on manager Paul Hurt’s shoulders in the process.
With Saturday’s opponents Oldham sitting three places below Shrewsbury in 23rd, the game itself was a rather tense affair from beginning to end, settled by an instinctive close-range header from the Palace man, followed by his now trademark dancing celebration. After a corner was floated in from the right-hand side, central defender Aristote Nsiala got above his marker to knock the ball into Ladapo’s path, enabling him to cushion the ball into the corner of the net, before wheeling away with a beaming smile slapped across his face.
Ironically, Freddie had spent a spell on loan with the Latics between August and January, scoring just three goals in 23 appearances before returning to Palace and heading back out to Shrewsbury just three days later, leading to a run which has seen him notch twice in his first three games. As strange as it may seem, certain clubs often seem to fit players better than others, with the above example demonstrating that with perfect clarity.
Let’s hope the big man can maintain his form for a little while yet.