'Huge asset': West Ham loanee Dapo Afolayan shines in Mansfield thrashing

West Ham fans celebrate after the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2017 in London, England.

Dapo Afolayan is yet to make a Premier League appearance for West Ham United but Oldham Athletic know all about his talent now.

Oladapo Afolayan of Mansfield Town during the Sky Bet League Two match between Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic at One Call Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Mansfield, England.

It’s not been a bad few weeks for West Ham United’s loan legion.

Jordan Hugill can’t stop scoring for QPR, Nathan Trott has shone between the sticks at Wimbledon, Josh Cullen remains as effective as ever for high-flying Charlton Athletic and even Sead Haksabanovic has caught the eye of Fiorentina after a couple of dazzling displays for IFK Norrkoping (Expressen).

Now, it’s Dapo Afolayan’s time to shine.

The 22-year-old scored his first ever goal in senior, professional football during Mansfield Town’s 6-1 thrashing of Oldham Athletic on Saturday. He really couldn’t miss, tapping in from close range after some unselfish approach work from hat-trick hero Nicky Maynard, but the ease of the finish should not cloud a terrific display from a player who is yet to make his debut for West Ham.

Oladapo Afolayan of Mansfield Town scores a goal to make it 5-1 during the Sky Bet League Two match between Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic at One Call Stadium on October 12, 2019 in...

Afolayan even won a penalty too, bamboozling a dreadful Oldham defence with a clever shimmy and change of direction inside the area. And he deserves every bit of praise that comes his way, whether from Mansfield fans or manager John Dempster.

“Dapo is a very good technical player – that’s why he got his move from Solihull to West Ham. We see him every day in training,” the under-fire coach told The Chad, while admitting that Afolayan has come back stronger after a difficult start to life with The Stags.

“But what impressed me was the distance he covered. He was pressing all over the pitch. He ran himself into the ground.”

Dempster wasn’t the only man impressed by a flying display from West Ham’s latest fresh-faced starlet.

Oladapo Afolayan of West Ham United in action with Shamal George (L) of Liverpool during the Premier League 2 match between West Ham United U23 and Liverpool U23 at Chigwell Construction...

 

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