FREDDIE LADAPO is the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for October.
The 25 year-old Argyle striker scored six goals and set up another two to hold off stiff competition from fellow League One players Adebayo Akinfenwa, of Wycombe Wanderers; Oxford United goalkeeper Simon Eastwood; and Gillingham’s Tom Eaves.
Recognition for our No.19 comes after he was pivotal to our upturn in form last month. Of the 11 goals scored by the Pilgrims, he was involved in three quarters of those, scoring six and assisting two.
Following a frustrating start to the month, at Barnsley, he found his feet on October 6, scoring the only goal against Wimbledon, and he has not looked back since.
Next up was the home game against Burton, where he was on a hat-rick for the first time in green but in the end settled for a double. First scoring a curling effort from the edge of the box, then some neat footwork allowing him to tap into an open goal after rounding the Brewers goalkeeper.
Four days later, another brace - the first Pilgrim to achieve back-to-back doubles since David Friio in 2003 – sank Gillingham at home: a pinpoint effort into the top corner was the opener; and the second came 15 minutes later, when he headed home Conor Grant’s lovely cross. In the second half, he showed his unselfish side by slipping in Ruben Lameiras to score the killer goal in a 3-1 win.
The last goal of his stellar October came in our most recent away league victory at Scunthorpe. For the third successive game, Freddie scored the first goal of the game. This one was pretty much his own work as he created space in the area and his shot wrong-footed keeper Jak Alnwick.
His second assist of the month was for Antoni Sarcevic to smash home our fourth of the afternoon at Glanford Park against Stuart McCall’s Iron.
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Plymouth really needed their key players to stand up and be counted in October, with the club languishing deep in the relegation zone.
“Ladapo’s six goals and two assists contributed to some vital points being picked up and, despite a defeat to second-place Sunderland, they now have some momentum on which to build.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Ladapo’s impressive goal haul of six goals in the month of October included a couple of braces and lifted Plymouth off the bottom of Sky Bet League One.
“The Pilgrims still have their work cut out as they are still second favourites for the drop at 4/7.
“However, they were in the same position this time last year and only just missed out of the play-offs, and with Ladapo’s goals, they will be hopeful of going on another similar run. He can be backed at 25/1 to finish as the league’s top scorer.”
Among the other month award-winners was former Pilgrim Lukas Jutkiewicz, who was named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for scoring five times for Birmingham City, including a hat-trick against Rotherham. He also set up his side’s winning goal at Stoke.
Coincidentally, Freddie becomes the second Argyle player in a row to win the October award, following in Graham Carey’s studmarks when he won it this time last year.