News and Views
Meite Shows Why He Deserved New Contract
12 November 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when striker Yakou Meite was awarded a huge new four year contract at the start of October. At the time it was fair to say that, despite his effort, Meite was hardly looking like the kind of player to be regularly banging the goals in. Shortly after signing his new deal he has gone on to score six goals in just five Championship games. It feels like Meite has come from nowhere to find himself working his way up the Championship's top goalscorers list. It wouldn't be a bad idea to request a bet on Meite finishing as the Division's top scorer. Brentford's Neal Maupay leads the scoring charts with 12 goals, so Meite has plenty of ground to make up, but Brentford's form has dipped after losing their manager to Aston Villa - while Reading fans remain hopeful of a change of fortunes.
Meite also scored in our 2-0 league cup win over Birmingham but he is starting to look a much improved player since even the start of the season. Meite scored two excellent goals during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Ipswich. The first a well taken overhead kick from an angle, the second was a vital goal for a late equaliser when he directed his header into the side of the net. It was the celebration that showed how much it meant to Meite as he charged towards the fans with his arms out wide, quite literally roaring. The goals, the effort and determination, and his clear desire has propelled him to the top of the popularity rankings at Reading Football Club. As John Wells put in his report of the Ipswich game: "Without Meite's contribution in terms of goals and work rate in recent games Reading would be in much deeper trouble by now."
After arriving from Paris Saint Germain over two years ago, Meite had limited chances at Reading. After some games in the 2016/2017 season, making 15 appearances and scoring just once, he spent the next season out on loan at French side Sochaux. When he returned to Reading this summer and made his return to the first team expectations weren't exactly high. Meite has proved any doubters wrong and is already paying off the club's faith in him. Speaking after the weekend Meite's confidence is clearly high: "I think I'm on fire at the moment. It's great, I just need to keep on going. This is one of the best parts of my career. I'm scoring consistently and I just need to stay confident."
Meite's form has also earned him an International call up, and he will be hoping to feature for Ivory Coast as they play Guinea on Sunday and Rwanda next Thursday in the Africa Cup of Nations qualification games. After an injury scare before the Ipswich game, when he was declared a doubt to start, Reading fans will be hoping Meite has success with his country but returns full fit and ready to play a part in some tough Championship games. After the International break the Royals travel to Wigan and Leeds hoping to pick up some points to stay out of the bottom three.
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