This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Watford are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Reading winger Yakou Meite according to The Telegraph.
Meite has been with Reading since 2016, and has been a regular in their team, having previously been on the books with French giants PSG.
The Ivorian international has made 125 appearances in total for the Royals, and has scored 42 goals in his time with the Berkshire-based side.
Meite has found regular minutes hard to come by this season due to injuries, and has made 25 appearances in total for Reading, and has chipped in with 11 goals, as they missed out on a top-six finish in the Championship.
The Telegraph also claim that Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion are believed to be interested in a deal to sign Meite in the summer transfer window.
Watford are planning for life back in the Premier League, after winning promotion from the Championship under the management of Xisco Munoz this term.
But would Meite be a good signing for Watford, and is he needed at Vicarage Road?
We ask our Football League World writers to see what they make of Watford’s rumoured interest in signing Meite.
I’ve watched Yakou Meite a lot over the last few seasons, and I still cant quite work him out.
His goal return is very impressive and he’s more often than not hit double figures in the last few seasons since his arrival at the Madejski, which is certainly a strong return for a winger.
My concern with him is his technical ability and first touch. There are still raw tendencies in them two departments in particular, and he very much relies on his pace and strength to get him into promising attacking situations.
My fear is whether he’d adapt to life in the Premier League with Watford, and ultimately, I don’t see him starting for the Hornets given the attacking talent that Munoz’ side already possess.
He would potentially offer a different option to Watford, but I wouldn’t be breaking the bank to sign the Ivorian international this summer.
I’ve said previously that I think Watford’s attack will need some work heading back into the Premier League, so it’s little surprise to see them scanning the division they are heading out of for talent.
Meite is a player that I like too. He’s had a good season for Reading and contributed to some of the Royals’ better moments in the Championship, even if their push for the play-offs did fall short.
12 goals in only 25 appearances in the Championship is a really good strike-rate, and you do wonder whether Reading would have been in that top-six had the forward stayed fit all season.
Ultimately, that didn’t happen, which leads us to the point of Reading hanging onto the 25-year-old and Watford circling.
Watford might have concerns over his fitness, but then again, given the pool of attackers they hope to build, there isn’t going to be the same reliance on Meite’s fitness as there was at Reading.
With that in mind, I think it’s a deal that Watford might be happy to push on with and even pay a decent whack to get hold of the Reading man.
Can you score full marks on this end of season Watford quiz?
Meite’s record speaks for itself – he’s hit double figures in the last three Championship campaigns and even though he only played 25 times this season, he scored 12 goals which is a great tally from the wing, although he did occasionally play through the middle
He’s a full Ivory Coast international, he’s aged 25 now so he may not even be at his peak yet and it would be cruel of Reading to stand in his way if a Premier League club came in for him.
Meite’s contract at the Madejski Stadium runs until 2023, so the Royals are in a strong position in terms of not really having to sell him unless they need the money desperately.
Watford though will no doubt have some cash to spend – and they could definitely do with bolstering on the flanks as Ismaila Sarr aside, the Hornets don’t really have any proven Premier League quality.
Meite of course wouldn’t fit that criteria but he’s worth a punt in my eyes because of his goalscoring record – anything over £10 million though and I’d probably look elsewhere.