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“I liked Yakou as soon as I saw him!”

Manager reflects on Meite’s bright showing against Birmingham

15 August 2018

“Yakou is a player that works hard, and he has pace and power,” Paul Clement began as he reflected on a first goal of the campaign for Yakou Meite against Birmingham City… a powerful, right-footed effort which left Lee Camp well beaten in our Carabao Cup win.

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Returning from his loan spell at Sochaux this summer, the 22-year-old has impressed the boss since linking back up with the boys in blue and white.

“He finished his goal really well with his weaker foot – that was off a lovely through-ball from Marc McNulty.

“I liked Yakou as soon as I saw him.  I like his personality, his desire, his physicality and his ability to listen and want to learn and improve. 

“Of course he has a lot to improve still, but you saw the ability that he has – both athletically and with the threat that he provides when he goes forward.

“He took his goal on his weaker foot – he can head the ball, he can run with the ball, he can run without the ball.  He has a cracking left-footed shot on him and he had a great attempt that went just over the bar.

“He is still a young player with lots to improve on, but he is an exciting prospect.”

The other scorer John Swift also came in for praise after giving Reading something of a cushion.

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It was a delightful free-kick which flummoxed the Blues stopper – opening his account for 2018-19.  And it was no fluke.

“Our two goals were excellent,” Clement continued.  “The second was a dead ball, a lovely hit, and that’s something that John practices.

“It was a good moment to get that second goal; it really was a lovely strike.  He does practice that, it doesn’t come by chance.

“He played in a slightly deeper role today too, which is good – he’s showed that he has the ability to play in different positions.  That’s good to have – players who can play in more than one place.”

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