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Royals swoop to sign Yakou Meite

29 July 2016

Young PSG forward flies in to sign three-year-deal

Reading Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of 20-year-old forward Yakou Meite who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain to put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Madejski Stadium earlier this afternoon.

The Parisian left-footer, who is capable of playing out wide or in a central attacking role, successfully completed a medical with the Royals on Thursday and sealed his transfer today, joining Jaap Stam’s squad ahead of next week’s Sky Bet Championship curtain-raiser against Preston North End.

Royals boss Jaap Stam said, "He's a young player of course, a winger who can play on the left or right side or maybe even in a central role as a striker.

"He has a great left foot, good technique, good physique, pace - all together he is a promising young player. He comes from a big team in Europe in Paris Saint-Germain and we are hopeful he can be a good player for us going forward."

Born in Paris, Meite joined PSG at the age of 13 and progressed through the Academy system in the French capital. He reached the final of UEFA Youth League with the Ligue 1 giants last season – an Under-19 competition which mirrors the Champions League at group stage.

Meite scored against both Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo FF in the group stages of that tournament, then bagged another against AS Roma in the quarter-finals before finding the net in the final – an equaliser against eventual 2-1 winners Chelsea.
Only nine days before that tournament started, Meite had made his professional debut for Laurent Blanc’s side, coming off the bench in a 2-0 win over Guingamp to play a small part in what was a domestic treble-winning season for PSG last season.

Yakou is eligible to play for the Ivory Coast through his parents and he first represented the Elephants at Under-17 level, picked to take part in the U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2013…scoring in 3-0 win against New Zealand to help his country reach the quarter-finals.

The six-foot-tall forward went on to feature in the Toulon Tournament for the Under-20s in 2015 – featuring in a 2-1 defeat to an England side which included none other than John Swift amongst their squad.

Meite, who was linked in the media with moves to a number of top flight teams in England this summer, won’t be involved in tonight’s final pre-season friendly at home to Bournemouth, however he will take squad number 19 ahead of the new 2016-17 campaign.

Chief Executive Nigel Howe said, “I am excited to welcome Yakou to Madejski Stadium, a young, talented player who has already achieved a great deal in the game despite his tender age. I am pleased we won a competitive race to secure his signature and I look forward to seeing him represent the Royals.”

The transfer of course remains subject to the completion of the normal ratification procedures from the relevant football authorities.

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