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Crystal Palace sign Margate's former Colchester United and Kidderminster Harriers striker Freddie Ladapo

Margate striker Freddie Ladapo has secured a dream move to Barclays Premier League side Crystal Palace.

The 23-year-old has signed on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee .

Ladapo had been on trial with the Eagles for the past fortnight and scored a hat-trick as Palace under-21s beat Watford 5-0 at St Albans on March 14.

Freddie Ladapo Picture: Martin Apps
Freddie Ladapo Picture: Martin Apps

Palace boss Alan Pardew missed that match because he was at Leicester versus Newcastle the same evening, but he did see Ladapo hit a post in a goalless draw for the under-21s against Leeds on March 22 at Selhurst Park as part of a side which also included Jason Puncheon.

Ladapo, whose previous clubs also include Woking, Thurrock and Grays, signed for Margate in January, 2015, and helped them to promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division last season.

He is their top scorer this season with 12 goals in Vanarama National League South. His last came form the spot in the 2-1 home defeat to Hayes & Yeading on March 19 but he has sat out the club's last two matches.

The Romford-born forward was the subject of much speculation in the January transfer window as Margate turned down bids from a Football League club and a Vanarama National League side.

Ladapo himself refused a move to a National League side, thought to be Grimsby, after the clubs had agreed a fee.

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