Report: Derby County among four Championship clubs chasing non-league star Dapo Afolayan

Gary Rowett manager of Derby County looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Reading at iPro Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Derby, England.

Former Chelsea trainee Dapo Afolayan is on the radar of Derby County, Birmingham City, Burton Albion and Barnsley.

Garry Rowett, Manager of Derby County looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Derby County at Griffin Park on April 14, 2017 in Brentford, England.

It speaks volumes about Dapo Afolayan’s importance to National League outfit Solihull Moors that he has scored just shy of half of their 18 goals so far in 2017/18.

And it’s this prolific form that has a number of Championship sides hot on the trail of one of the most exciting prospects outside of the Football League.

Afolayan, who has eight goals for the rock-bottom Solihull this season, is understood to be on the radar of Derby County, Birmingham City, Barnsley and Burton Albion, per the Daily Star.

A general view of iPro Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Derby, England.

The report adds that the former Chelsea trainee could leave his current club for free due to a release clause in his contract, which will come into effect if he receives a ‘suitable offer’ from another club.

And this is not the first time in recent months that Derby have scoured non-league for some under-the-radar gems. HITC Sport sources told us in January that The Rams had hoped to sign Stafford Rangers’ sensation Joshua Gordon, who managed a one-in-two goal ratio for the Evo Stick Side. 

With Afolayan available on a free, however, the signing would represent a low risk with potentially huge rewards. Signing players from non-league has become increasingly fashionable in recent seasons thanks to the strides made by Jamie Vardy at Leicester City.

Jamie Vardy (C) of Leicester City competes for the ball against Cedric Soares (R) and Virgil van Dijk (L) of Southampton compete for the ball during the Premier League match between...

And Derby would be hoping Afoloyan could make a similar impact.

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