Crystal Palace fans should not expect to see this man play any time soon, hints Pardew

Alan Pardew

The Eagles' new signing Freddie Ladapo is very much one for the future, according to his new manager.

Many Crystal Palace fans may have been left scratching their head on Wednesday when the signing of non-league striker Freddie Ladapo was announced, and Alan Pardew has suggested to reporters that it will be a while before he turns out in an Eagles shirt, as quoted by the club's Twitter account.

The 23-year-old striker has impressed for Margate since joining the then-Isthmian Premier League side in January 2015, helping them win promotion to the National League South four months later.

After scoring 23 goals in 49 league games for the club he netted a hat-trick for Palace's Under-21s side whilst on trial at the club, and was signed on a two-and-a-half-year deal earlier this week.

However, Pardew admitted to reporters that he has not brought the striker in with the intention of playing him in the remaining weeks of the season, and suggested it could even be the 2017-18 season before he makes his debut for the club.

The 54-year-old manager told reporters, as quoted by the club's official Twitter account: "Ladapo won't be seen this season [but] he has got a natural way about the way he finishes.

"He has got a lot to do [and will] probably go on loan next year."

Despite the very prominent success of one former England striker who has made it to the big time, Leicester City and England hotshot Jamie Vardy, asking Ladapo to make such a huge step up immediately would likely be ill-advised.

Although it may not be reflected in their goals tally - only five teams in the top-flight have scored fewer - Palace are rather inundated with strikers, with Connor Wickham, Frazier Campbell, Dwight Gayle, Marouane Chamakh, Patrick Bamford and Emmanuel Adebayor all on the first-team books.

Ladapo will be hoping for the chance to make an impact, although if he were to leave on a season-long loan deal next campaign, he would have just a single year left on his contract by the time he returned to Selhurst Park.

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