Wigan Athletic 'passed on chance to sign' Bolton Wanderers star Dapo Afolayan after Latics trial

By John McDougall

Bolton Wanderers star Dapo Afolayan could have been a Wigan Athletic player - but the Latics passed on signing the attacker after a trial, according to the player himself.

The 24-year-old scored twice on his birthday yesterday for Wanderers against Ipswich Town as Bolton came from behind to win 5-2 and go third in the League One table.

He is Bolton's top scorer in all competitions with five strikes to his name, four of which have come in League One.

READ MORE: Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Ipswich Town thrashing, left-back call and scoring five goals

Though Afolayan is currently in the form of his life at Wanderers, he could have turned out for one of the club's biggest rivals, had circumstances in the past had a different outcome.

Back in 2018 when Afolayan was at Solihull Moors and still a university student, the attacker went on trial at the Latics when Paul Cook - now in charge of Ipswich - was at Wigan.

But signing for the Latics did not come to pass, with Afolayan later joining Premier League side West Ham United.

And Afolayan said after the victory at Portman Road that the Latics passed on the chance to sign him, claiming they had 'bigger and better things at the time'.

But the Wanderers attacker was pleased to hear positive comments about himself from former Wigan boss Cook, who was complimentary about the Bolton player's impact on the game at Portman Road.

And it is something that Afolayan likes to hear from opposition managers, with the Bolton attacker having nice things to say about Cook in turn.

He said: “It’s always nice to hear that from opposition managers. I spoke to him after the game. He’s a good guy.

“I went on trial when he was at Wigan when I was younger, so I’ve known him for a while.

“It’s always nice to hear that from opposition managers.”

Of his time at Wigan, he added: "They had bigger and better things at the time.”

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