Who is Freddie Ladapo? The ‘next Jamie Vardy’ linked with a £500,000 switch to Sunderland and Portsmouth
Sunderland are reportedly ‘close’ to sealing a move for Plymouth Argyle striker Freddie Ladapo - but who is he?
Here’s everything you need to know about Sunderland’s striker target:
Former clubs: Colchester United, Kidderminster Harriers, Margate, Crystal Palace, Southend United, Plymouth Argyle
What has his career been like?Ladapo’s career has been far from conventional, with the striker having played for no fewer than 15 clubs courtesy of a variety of loan spells.
After time at Southend as a younger, the frontman made his breakthrough at Colchester United and went on to make six appearances for the U’s first-team.
He took in loan spells at the likes of Woking and Nuneaton Town in order to gain experience of senior football, before being allowed to leave Colchester in 2014.
Ladapo subsequently joined Kidderminster, but spent just a year - much of which saw him farmed out on loan - with the non-league side.
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A move to Margate then followed, and that saw Ladapo hit his stride. 23 goals in 49 appearances saw him attract plenty of interest - and it was Crystal Palace who came calling.
Things failed to work out with the Eagles though and, after a short spell back at Southend, the Romford-born star joined Plymouth in 2018.
How did he perform last season?
Ladapo’s first - and only - season at Home Park was a roaring success, as he netted 19 times in 49 appearances.
What type of player is he?
Ladapo is all about pace and power, with those attributes allowing him to create plenty of opportunities for himself and those around him.
A clinical finisher, Ladapo certainly knows where the goal is in the third tier.His style of play, accompanied with his rise from non-league to the top flight, saw the striker draw comparisons to Leicester CIty star Jamie Vardy.
How much will Sunderland have to pay to sign him and who else is interested?
A fee of around £500,00 is expected to be required to lure Ladapo from Plymouth, with Portsmouth and Brentford also credited with an interest.