How U23 striker Oladapo Afolayan has performed this season

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It’s now been over two years since West Ham captured Oladapo Afolayan from non-league Solihull Moors and his statistics since then have hardly been flattering.

But then again, his record for Solihull Moors wasn’t off-the-charts in the first place with just 15 goals in 46 appearances – the club clearly saw something in him that the rest of us didn’t.

Since he’s been in east London, David Moyes has gone and come back again and he’s yet to get anywhere near the senior side.

The former Toronto youngster has scored a mere three times in 20 appearances for the Development squad and during spells at Oldham and Mansfield, has scored just once in 17 matches.

This presents the question of why he’s still at the club when we’ve been so keen to part company with young forwards such as Toni Martinez and more recently Anthony Scully, both of whom were prolific at U23 level.

Scully, for example, scored an outstanding 13 in 14 and six assists in the Premier League 2.

Compare that to the poor efforts of Afoloyan, two goals in seven outings, and it seems baffling that Scully would be moved on and Afoloyan remains at the club, not even out on loan and effectively next in line for the first team.

As we’ve touched on, it wasn’t even as though the ex-Chelsea starlet had done well in his loan at Mansfield during the first half of 2019/2020, scoring just one goal and being demoted to the reserves in early November.

Then he comes back and when most of the West Ham attackers were having a ball in the PL2 Division 2, he fails to get in on the act to the same extent.

This could well suggest that the staff see something special in the 22-year-old striker, whose contract is due to run out in the summer of 2021, and have faith that he’ll show why he deserves to be there sooner rather than later.

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