The 11 non-league stars who could make big moves in January – including one ex-Arsenal man

Daniel Udoh – 22

AFC Telford (National League North)

Udoh was at Stevenage in their Under 18s and Crewe as a pro before drifting into non-league. A striker, Udoh has caught the eye after scoring 16 goals so far this season. Although interested clubs won’t get him easy with his boss Gavin Cowan insisting: “He is not going anywhere, he is staying.”

Kurt Willoughby – 22

FC United of Manchester (National League North)

Willoughby was playing two leagues below National League North last season but he’s shown he can more than cut it at that level. The striker has scored 11 goals and has four assists so far in 2018/19. He was in the Preston North End Under-16s side and Fleetwood Town at Under-18s level. Now and England C international.

Elliot Simoes – 19

FC United of Manchester (National League North)

The story of an ex-Sporting Lisbon winger who made it in Manchester seems familiar… Willoughby’s team-mate Simoes was at Benfica as an Under-11 and Sporting as an Under-13. He’s now at FC United of Manchester where he’s made his name for being explosive and direct.

Ethan Chislett – 20

Met Police (Southern Premier)

Chislett is a centre-midfielder with similar traits to Phil Foden. He’s scored seven and has nine assists to his name in 19 appearances this season. Was at Southampton as a kid.

Zak Ansah – 24

Hythe Town (Bostik South)

Ansah joined the Arsenal Academy at 10 with the Gunners fighting off interest from Tottenhamm to get their man. There he played with Jack Wilshere but Ansah never appeared for the Gunners. Instead he drifted to Charlton, Plymouth (loan) and Newport (also on loan) but he is now banging in the goals for Hythe Town, where he is top scorer in the division with 20. Hythe Town have form for producing league talents too with Alfie May getting a move to Doncaster after a spell there.

Daniel Ajakaiye – 21

Hastings United (Bostik South)

Ajakaiye was at Fulham as an Under-12 and West Ham as an Under-14, now he’s making waves down on the coast at Hastings. A striker, Ajakaiye has 24 goals and five assists in 25 appearances so far.

Macauley Bonne – 23

Leyton Orient (National League)

He’s no stranger to the Football League having played for Colchester for four years. This season Bonne has been on fire, scoring 19 in 29 appearances, following up his return of 25 in 52 last year. A fun fact – he’s capped by Zimbabwe at international level.

Dan Sweeney – 24

Barnet (National League)

An imposing 6ft 5ins centre-back who has played 27 times this season. The Barnet player of the year last season, Sweeney has already been included in five National League ‘Team of the Days’. Was formerly a pro at AFC Wimbledon.

Marvin Ekpiteta – 23

Leyton Orient (National League)

Another defender, 6ft 4ins Ekpiteta is capped at England C level. He was named National League Player of the Month for September 2018 and Leyton Orient Player of the Month multiple times already this season. Formerly of Oxford United.

Josh Kelly – 20

Maidenhead United (National League)

A goal machine. Kelly scored 40 in 51 appearances on-loan at Walton Causals last season as a teenager. He’s found the net six times in 2018/19, where he became a social media sensation after his goal against Eastleigh went viral back in September 2018. A product of the Maidenhead United Academy.

James Hardy – 22

AFC Fylde (National League)

Another England C international, who is an attacking midfielder. Has scored 16 goals and made countless assists in his 88 appearances for the club. Was at Manchester City as a youngster.

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