In May 2018, Scunthorpe United secured the services of Olufela Olomola following the expiration of his contract at Southampton.
During his time with the Saints, the 23-year-old was regarded as being one of the club’s next big breakthrough stars. For an academy that has recently produced the likes of Adam Lallana, Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, and Theo Walcott, along with many more, such expectations were a compliment to Olomola’s talent.
However, after signing his first professional deal in 2016, the highly-rated youngster failed to reach the levels that were expected of him. Now, the Iron have an unfulfilled talent on their hands, and with the right coaching, he could become a prolific League Two finisher. So, let’s take a look at whether Olomola can steer Scunthorpe clear of a relegation battle in 2020-21.
The Potential to Become a Consistent Goalscorer
Throughout his professional career, the London-born striker has lacked a consistent platform on which to perform. The five-foot-seven attacker made no senior appearances for Southampton and, since 2017, has been out on loan at Yeovil Town and Carlisle United. Having signed a three-year deal with Scunthorpe back in 2018, Olomola is this season entering the final year of his contract at the Sands View Stadium. As such, the pressure is on him to deliver.
Despite the lack of consistency that he’s endured during his senior career, he’s often stepped up to the plate when needed. According to his profile at Transfermarkt, and at the time of writing, Olomola has scored 15 goals and assisted a further six in 65 League Two appearances. Not only that but, in all competitions, he’s found the net on 19 occasions from 56 games when played as a central striker. If Neil Cox utilises the 23-year-old centrally and plays to his strengths, then he undoubtedly possesses the ability to score all-important goals.
The Iron Consistency in Front of Goal
Few can argue that the English Football League isn’t one of the most competitive division-based formats in the sport. After narrowly avoiding the drop in 2019-20 – finishing 20th with 40 points – Cox will be keen to see his side improve this season. However, the opening stages of the campaign have proved tricky. After eight matches, the Iron have won only one game, while they have lost six of their opening fixtures.
Avoiding the drop in 2020-21 will be a tough ask for Scunthorpe, who will need their offensive players to be firing on all cylinders. Along with Olomola, there’s also pressure on Ryan Loft to deliver, and he’s currently 200/1 at football betting to finish as the top scorer in League 2 come the end of the 2020-21 campaign, as of November 9th.
The Best Form of Attack is Defence
Defensively, the Iron have struggled thus far in the season, conceding 17 goals in eight matches. As such, adopting an attack-minded approach may serve them better going forward. While Olomola is yet to hit the heights, he possesses the talent that could see him become a success. When it comes, the 23-year-old needs to take his chance, as that could make the difference in Scunthorpe’s effort to beat the drop.