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Soccer News of Tuesday, 28 June 2022


4 facts about Dapo Afolayan, the 'new Okocha' wanted by English clubs

Dapo Afolayan Dapo Afolayan

After an impressive stint with Bolton Wanderers last term, Dapo Afolayan has attracted interest from many clubs in the EFL Championship.

Affectionately called the 'New Okocha' by the Trotters, the Reebok stadium faithful compares him to the legendary Jay-Jay Okocha due to the silky skills he displays on the pitch to excite the fans.

He earned the legend's comparisons tag after replicating Okocha's signature goal celebration when he scored against AFC Wimbledon.

Here are some facts about him

Chelsea's academy product

Dapo Afolayan joined Chelsea's youth side at a very young age of nine, after turning down the chance to play for their London rival Arsenal.

While at Chelsea, the youngster struggled with his stature and was restricted to playing on the wings. After 5 years with The Blues, Afolayan left the Chelsea academy at age 14 to focus on his schooling.

Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year 2021-2022

Dapo Afolayan was voted Bolton's Player of the Year last season.

He was selected by the fans as the club's best performer of the season on the club's website.

The winger scored 14 goals for Ian Evatts' side to earn the fans' thumb.

Interestingly, Jay-Jay Okocha won the same award in 2003 and became the first non-English international to win the award.

Versatile player

The 24-year-old is efficient when deployed in different positions on the field, he can play as a center-forward and also on the wings.

He is aggressive and has great pace and goal-scoring instincts.

Ex West Ham United player

Dapo Afolayan is a former player for the Hammers. He signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with West Ham in January 2019. He went on three loan spells at Odham Athletic, Manfield and later Bolton Wanderers before joining the latter on a permanent deal in May 2021.

Eligible to play for Nigeria

The 24-year-old English-born Nigerian is eligible to play for Nigeria.

In April 2021, Afolayan was asked in the Bolton Wanderers Matchday programme if he would consider playing for Nigeria and he stated "Yeah I would. It's something I've thought about and hopefully, I can keep playing well and get on their radar."