Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that 22-year-old forward Yakou Méïté has put pen to paper on a new contract, keeping him at Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2022.
Manager Paul Clement said, “Yakou is a strong, powerful, versatile, attack-minded player who has demonstrated he is capable of playing in a number of different positions on the pitch. At 22 years of age, he is a player who I believe will continue to improve and I am very pleased he has committed to a new contract at the club.”
Méïté first joined the Royals in July 2016, signing from PSG just five months after his 20th birthday.
The Parisian forward came through the Academy system at Paris Saint-Germain from the age of 13, reaching the final of the UEFA Youth League with the Ligue 1 giants as an Under-19.
And Méïté made his professional debut under Laurent Blanc at PSG, coming off the bench in a 2-0 win over Guingamp to play a small part in what was a domestic treble-winning season in 2015-16.
On the international scene, Méïté qualifies for the Ivory Coast through his parents and he was part of the Elephants’ Under-17 World Cup squad in the United Arab Emirates in 2013. Yakou went on to feature in the Toulon Tournament for the African nation at Under-20 level in 2015.
As a Royal, the versatile 6’1” forward has played both in wide midfield positions and in the striker role - demonstrating flashes of explosive attacking ability during a maiden campaign at the Madejski that saw us achieve third place in the Championship.
His first goal in a Reading shirt came against Derby County at the iPro Stadium in January 2017 and, returning to the club in the summer after a season on loan with French side Sochaux, he got off the mark in 2018-19 with a fine low strike that secured Paul Clement’s men a Carabao Cup win over Birmingham City in August.
And last night he twice came very close to adding to his tally; drafted into the starting line-up at the last minute due to an injury to Jón Daði Böðvarsson in the warm-up, the powerful frontman hit the post and headed just wide soon after.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “Yakou came back from a season on loan in France desperate to impress and his hard work in training alongside his performances in pre-season and at the start of our 2018-19 campaign have earned him this new deal. So I am delighted he has committed his long-term future to the club.
Sporting Director Gianluca Nani added, “At 22 years of age, Yakou is young, hard-working and hungry for success here are Reading. So I am pleased we have been able to offer him a new deal at Reading and I look forward to watching him mature into an even better player as a Royal.”