U23s forward Afolayan wants to put things right against Arsenal

Oladapo Afolayan


West Ham United U23s striker Oladapo Afolayan is keen for his side to put things right when they face Arsenal at London Stadium on Friday following last season’s defeat to the Gunners at the same venue.

The Hammers were beaten 3-1 back in April in their final game of the 2017/18 campaign but a chance for revenge has come around quickly this term for Friday night’s hosts.

Steve Potts and Liam Manning’s side have recorded one win and one defeat from their two Premier League 2 outings this season – a 3-1 London derby victory against Tottenham Hotspur followed by Sunday’s freak 6-4 match at home to Manchester City.

Afolayan was on the scoresheet in the topsy-turvy ten-goal thriller though, and will be hoping to add another to his tally when West Ham go in search of vengeance.


He said: “We were disappointed about the result last year and it’s almost nice to get the chance to put things right this season. We want to go and win the game and put on a good team performance.

“It’s obviously nice to play at the stadium and it’s exciting for the boys but we prepare as normal and now at our age, it’s something we have to get used to so we don’t get caught in the moment.

We were disappointed about the result last year and it’s almost nice to get the chance to put things right this season

Oladapo Afolayan

Oladapo Afolayan
“We want to bounce back definitely on Friday after the game against City as well. We were bitterly disappointed after the game, not just because we lost, but in the manner we lost. We didn’t portray ourselves how we wanted to.”

Afolayan’s goal on Sunday – a neat headed finish from Joe Powell’s cross from the left – was his first competitive strike for the Hammers since signing from non-league outfit Solihull Moors last January.

And now he is off the mark, the 20-year-old is keen to boost himself up the pecking order at the Academy with more goals.

“It was good to get a goal in the City game, although it was almost bitter-sweet considering the result. I should have had one at Tottenham which was wrongly disallowed.

“There is strong competition up front and that’s a good thing. We work hard in training every day and push each other. Having the competition makes us better as individuals and as a team we are stronger.

“Personally I just want to keep improving day by day and game by game, having come from the National League; I’m still transitioning into full-time football. 

“That was hard, but I’ve had a proper pre-season now and I’m feeling fitter and sharper. I want to keep playing well and scoring.”

Season Ticket Holders and Claret Members can attend Friday's match at London Stadium for free, while adult and concession tickets are priced at £5 and £3 respectively. Click here to book your seat.