Who is Oladapo Afolayan? Player profile

FC St. Pauli announces a fourth newcomer in Oladabo Afolayan. The 25-year-old brings much of what FCSP is currently missing in attack.
(Photo: FC St. Pauli)

Oladabo “Dabo” Afolayan is FC St. Pauli’s fourth winter signing. We’ve also created a profile for each of the other three committed players. Elias Saad He plays in a situation similar to Avolayan, in the moor The beneficiary can be Carol Mets Who will inevitably suffer a large number of ball losses with the way they play.

The story so far

Born in beautiful London in 1997, he joined the Chelsea youth team at a young age (nine years old). But instead of signing the contract offered to the academy there, he decided at the age of 14 to focus on school, as he later explained in an interview. “set pieces” mentioned:

„I was supposed to do my GCSE [Anm. MT in etwa: mittlerer Schulabschluss] The next year and I wasn’t happy about only learning three days a week, so I left.

Dapo Afolayan im interview mit Cut the kit

Many parents now must have tears of emotion in their eyes. At the age of 15, he went to Canada (possibly family related, but this cannot be immediately confirmed) where he also trained with the professional team of Toronto FC as a teenager.

At the age of 18 he returned to England, where he continued to play at an amateur level alongside his studies, before joining at the age of 19 in February 2017. Solihull Morse (currently: Division Five) started, although Rochdale were also interested in a League Four team. But after six successful months, he signed a professional contract in the summer and cut back on his studies a bit – however, because the club had changed structurally and demanded (see again the Set Pieces interview).


West Ham – then a loan career …

On February 1, 2018, he signed with West HamBut it was not used in the pro team there and was only added in February 2019 Oldham Athletics And in the summer of 2019 Mansfield Town awarded.
A brief return to West Ham and two appearances there before his next loan move to early 2021 Bolton Wanderers (League IV) – and this is where he finally settled down. Oh yeah, and he was also famous – no wonder such statements:

„At the end of the day we are artists. People pay good money to come and have fun, especially from someone in my position. So the way I play, the thing I want to do is put smiles on people’s faces.”

Afolayan Bay is confused Bolton News

The rise to the third division after his first half there, and a comfortable relegation with Afolayan on a regular basis (51 matches in various competitions, most of them as a left winger, 14 goals and seven assists), followed by 29 matches this season, with six goals. and four templates (publication data according to Transfermarkt.de).
Oh yeah, and then there was the former Bolton player that’s often compared – who’s also known in Germany: Jay Jay Okocha! (Instagram)

You’re also getting a very good impression on this one BBC report from October 2021when he had just moved from West Ham to Bolton.

Social media and videos

We may be corrected, but according to our research, Dapo Afolayan does not actually have an Instagram account. Ah, nonsense Of course he has one…which was probably only briefly disabled in the meantime. In addition, you can unlock it Twitter You find. And old Facebook account There is also. Then you find out that Afolayan learned to swim on October 15, 2014 – or you didn’t.

Of course there is “Skills and Goals” – Videos of it — but guess what: I saw Avolayan’s campaign last summer and loved it. But I didn’t know anything about that. Because I only have one account on one of my favourites Great pass I have seen. since you are here (Twitter):


That’s what the expert says

So that we can get to know Dapo Afolayan a little better, we connected a few days ago in England near Manchester. Yeah, well, Brexit and the like, it takes a little bit longer for the answers to get conveyed. expert opinion of Trotters-Blog Continued.

That’s what the data says

Researching Dapo Afolayan’s data is complex. Because his production depends greatly on the position in which he played. In this season, he was increasingly used as a striker or hanging end. In the previous season, he was more often found on the left attacking side or behind the forwards, which, based on the data, should clearly be described as his best position.
In a 3-4-2-1 match at FC St. Pauli, using Afolayan on the left attacking side might be the best option. Fabian Hurzeler should see it similarly: “With his dynamism and dribbling skills, he has qualities in an attacking duel, but he’s also confident with the ball and passing. Now it’s a matter of integrating him quickly with us and showing his strength on the field.”

So it’s worth looking at the data for the previous season:

Oladabo Afolayan’s radar graphs from seasons 21/22 (yellow, left) and 22/23 (blue, right) compared to the average of all Premier League attacking players.

There is an overlap in both years: Afolayan is the most fouled player in League One. It also shows that he likes to dribble a lot and often. The number of dribbles and run-ins is clearly above average. In the 21/22 season, no one has dribbled more overall than Avolayan. Then the success rate is fairly average. This indicates that Afolayan is taking a certain risk.

Problems with changing position

It’s interesting how his pass and shot stats have changed. In the 21/22 season, he was still the player with the most shots per 90 minutes in the entire league, and also had very high dribbles and assists. This season, this data is still above average, but no longer quite up to the level of the previous year. The same can also be seen in the relevant figures: in 22 matches so far this season, Afolayan has scored six goals (three goals and three assists). In pre-season, there were a total of 19 goals scored (12 goals and seven assists) in 44 (!) League matches. Has his performance decreased?


Better not. Instead, the achievements are related to his changing attitude. Wanderers manager Ian Evatt explained about this: A regime change means that Afolayan is no longer used in his best position. However, this was the team’s best decision, and the results will show as well. He further explained:

„The team is doing very well and unfortunately Dabo is probably the one who suffers the most from this. We tried to adapt and beat him because he’s a good player, we can try to put him in other positions but it doesn’t necessarily work sometimes.”

Wanderers – Coach Ian Evatt He names the reasonswhy Oladapo Afolayan wasn’t coping well this season

This says the visual impression

You may have already seen it in the highlight videos: Dapo Afolayan has great technique and is very fast, which is why he often looks for a direct duel in attack. The success rate is not entirely convincing, but it can also be explained by the fact that opponents always try to be relatively close to it when playing. If Afolayan can get some space when receiving the ball, it will be very difficult for opponents to defend him in the second Bundesliga.

Right foot over left

I cannot name a similar former or current FC St. Pauli player. But when used on the left, Afolayan achieves all the characteristics of an ‘inverted wing’ with his speed and technical finesse. I’m not sure about his defensive skills. With more than five defensive duels per game and a percentage of over 50% this season and last, the data paints a positive picture. Basically, he must meet the requirements with his skills, because he has the necessary speed and also some toughness in the duel, but since the pressure requirements are different in each team, this is a little more difficult to assess.

Afolayan has a strong drive towards the opposite goal, actively seeking runs in his dribbles, but also has a good sense of space when not on the ball. Although he is stronger with his right foot and can therefore always pull into the middle than the left, his left foot is not to be scoffed at, which makes him more versatile at dribbling and finishing.

Oladapo Afolayan scored for Bolton at Charlton Athletic’s The Valley in September 2021.
// (c) Justin Setterfield/Getty Images via OneFootball

Perhaps from a physical point of view small adjustment problems

Pros: He has not suffered any injuries since joining Bolton Wanderers. However, this was not always the case before. At 1.80 metres, Dabo Afolayan is not the tallest footballer, but he is still at a fairly high level physically. He certainly has to be, otherwise he wouldn’t do well in the very physical league. Accordingly, he should also have fewer adjustment problems in this area in the second division.


It may be more difficult that Dabo Afolayan did not have a winter break. In League One, even during the World Cup, it was played quite simply. Bolton Wanderers have played an astonishing 35 competitive matches since the start of August. In the league alone, there are a total of 46 matches per season, in addition to the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, and Premier League Cup. Now Afolayan will have to deal with opponents, almost all of whom have had a break from competition for more than two months. It is entirely plausible that this difference would make itself felt.

Another surprise bag

A promising look at the stats and visual impression. With his skills, Oladabo Afolayan became a missing player of FC St. Pauli until now. Certainly, he is similar to the characteristics of Elias Saad, but on a different physical level. And although Afolayan didn’t really fit into the system at his previous club, in FCSP it should be the opposite: a 3-4-2-1 can afford a powerful dribbling player with a very good goal on the attacking flank. .

But there will definitely be some question marks with this transfer as well. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear what physical condition Afolayan is in compared to other B-division players. In addition, it is always difficult to transfer the performance of one team to another. This uncertainty is heightened by the fact that it belongs to a different league. Dabo Afolayan is FC St. Pauli’s fourth signing this winter – and the fourth to never play in one of Germany’s top three leagues. This is a risk.

Dapo Afolayan was a very popular player with Bolton Wanderers fans. This must also be due to his straightforward playing style. Accordingly, we can expect a player who will be responsible for iconic moments at FC St. Pauli in the future.
Welcome to Millerntor, Dapo Afolayan!
// Tim

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Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are from Wyscout.

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