Plymouth insider: Portsmouth and Sunderland target Freddie Ladapo would add pace and power to potential suitors

The News spoke to the Plymouth Herald’s Chris Errington to get the lowdown on Freddie Ladapo.

Sunday, 16th June 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 11:18 pm

Reports emerged on Friday that Pompey, along with Sunderland, were close to agreeing a £500,000 fee for the front man who scored 18 goals in League One last season.

Here’s what was said about the 26-year-old front man...

So, Chris, you’re the man who broke the story, what do you know?

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Apparently, they're in talks, figures are being discussed and we'll wait to see what happens.

Both Sunderland and Portsmouth are the two teams that have been mentioned.

Brentford have a long-standing interest and it seems that one or two others are waiting in their wings, too.

There’s an expectation things will be moved on in the next week or so.

Reported Plymouth striker Freddie Ladapo Picture: Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Is any team in the driving seat for his signature?

He's always been London and the south east.

Sunderland are a long way from London but Sunderland are, in inverted commas, a massive club, so it's difficult to know.

Will he definitely be leaving Plymouth this summer?

He got 18 goals in League One last season and I just can’t see him playing in League Two next term.

Plymouth have obviously got Ryan Lowe as their new manager and a transfer fee of around £500,000 could go quite a long way to rebuilding the squad for next season.

Is £500,000 a reasonable amount or has that figure dropped seeing Plymouth will be in League Two next season?

I think Argyle fans would be of the opinion that it's on the skinny side.

But you're talking about a side that's now in League Two.

He had one good season last year, but before that hadn't really been a goalscorer in the league.

I don't know for sure, but I think any deal would of course include add-ons, sell-on clauses and things like that, so if you talk about £500,000 with add-ons and sell-ons then that would be fair amount, I would have thought.

What sort of striker is he? Would he fit into a 4-2-3-1 formation, which is Kenny Jackett’s preferred system?

He primarily played in a 4-2-3-1 last season - he was basically the main striker last year.

Plymouth obviously had Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras out wide of him and in behind, so he can play in that.

They tried playing two up front at times last season but it didn't really work very well.

But he's big enough and he's quick enough - I couldn't see why he couldn't play in a two-up front, but Plymouth didn't do that a lot last season.

Ladapo got 18 goals primarily playing as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system last season.

Is pace and power his main attributes then? What’s he like in the air?

He did okay in the air but pace and power are his key attributes.

He can run on to the through balls, he's good at making those sort of runs - and he benefited from having Carey and Lameiras in the team last season as they were good passers of the ball.

They could find space for the pass and because of his physical build he could go shoulder-to-shoulder with centre-backs but also have the pace to get beyond them.

Is League One his level or could he do a job in the Championship if Pompey got promoted?

It's a difficult one, isn't it.

Eighteen goals in League One for a team that got relegated is pretty good.

Does that translate to him being good enough for the Championship? Well, it’s a big step up.

It’s hard to say. He would be cheaper than a Championship-proven striker so you would be taking a bit of a punt, but if you look at him last season, he made a massive improvement.

Who's to say he wouldn't make another massive improvement next season.