“When I first knew of him, he had not played. He had been out for two-and-a-half years,” the manager said. “At 16 years of age he was a very promising striker.
“He started to play a little bit at Auxerre last year and I got alerted by [scout Gilles] Grimandi that he was playing again so I sent him to watch him. He said he could be interesting.
“Then I met him and we had a long chat about what happened to him and I decided to try to take him. He called me back and said, ‘Look, I will join you’. He had had one or two more offers in France and I knew it was a going to be a building process of six months.
“In pre-season I saw he was under-strength and not ready muscularly. We decided to take him completely out and try to build him up for four months - two months in France and two months with us. When he came back on January 1, I saw he was a different animal.”
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