Kebe seals Reading switch

Malian winger signs two-and-a-half year contract

Kebe: On Reading's radar for long time

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Reading have finalised the signing of long-term target Jimmy Kebe for an undisclosed fee from Lens.

The Mali international has been on loan at Boulogne in the French second division this season, with the winger scoring five goals in 16 appearances.

He has now signed a deal until 2010 with the Royals and the Premier League club are hoping Kebe can make an impact.

"Jimmy is a winger who has a bit of pace and is a good size at over six foot tall," Reading's director of football Nick Hammond told the club's official website. "He is right-footed, but is comfortable on both sides of pitch.

Massive step up

"He's been playing in the French second division, so hasn't really been on people's radars.

"But we've been aware of him for some time. And every time our staff have watched Jimmy he's had a major impact on a game.

"Obviously it's a massive step up from that level to the English Premier League.

"But the same could have been said for a number of our players when they first came to the club. They have made the transition and we hope Jimmy can do the same."

Royals boss Steve Coppell admitted that many of the club's supporters may be unaware of Kebe's ability, but he has assured them that the winger has a lot to offer.

"Our scouts' reports were all positive but he is not the finished article. He is going to need work and have to adjust to the English style of football," Coppell said.

"We, like a lot of people, we focus a lot on the French league but not necessarily the top teams. We have been looking at lesser games in the second division and had seen him on a number of occasions.

"We have had various people looking at him but I haven't seen him live, although I have seen tapes. We have had right-side problems and he can play right or left.

"He has pace, which I always like, and it was an opportunity to bring another one in."