Why Rotherham United's Freddie Ladapo 'will be a big problem' for Championship defences

In his mind, Freddie Ladapo thinks he is a Premier League striker.

By Jonathan Veal
Monday, 7th September 2020, 1:52 pm

But Rotherham United manager Paul Warne wants his record signing to prove he can cut it in the Championship first.

The Millers are about to embark on another season in the second tier, where a lack of goals cost them relegation when they were last there two seasons ago.

Warne is hoping Ladapo can be the man to address that this time around and he certainly needs to be given the fee he shelled out on him last summer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has backed striker Freddie Ladapo to be a success during the forthcoming Championship season. Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The 27-year-old moved from Plymouth with a £300,000 price tag, more than the Millers have ever spent on a player before.

He went some way to paying at least a portion of that back last term with his 17 goals helping the club win a points-per-game promotion from League One.

Now he has to step up a level and Warne is banking on Ladapo's painful past proving a motivational tool.

After starting in non-league the striker's raw talent saw him snapped up by Crystal Palace, who handed him a Premier League debut at Manchester United.

They lost that game 4-0 and he only made one more appearance for the Eagles before leaving the club in 2018.

“It is a big opportunity for him,” Warne said. “He is the record signing and his goals played a massive part in our success last year.

“When were unsuccessful in our Championship campaign last time, a dearth of goals were pretty prevalent in our failure.

“Freddie scores goals when no one else can so he will be an integral part of what we are trying to do.

“He does need a good season, he doesn't lack in confidence, he thinks he should be playing at the top level, he is driven by his own determination and his kick-backs earlier in his career.

“He has a lot to prove and I think he will be a real problem in the Champ.

“He sees this as a big season, but he is no different to anyone else.”