With five goals to his name, Reims' Hugo Ekitike is the top scoring teenager in Ligue 1 this season.
Coach Oscar Garcia told The Ligue 1 Show on beINSPORTS: “There is something very special about him. He’s young, and he has the quality to become a very good player. He’s started a lot of games now, he’s a young man with a lot of quality but also a lot to improve on, but he works hard in training.”
At just under 1m90, Ekitike is difficult to miss, but equally, his footwork makes him difficult to stop. Scorer of a third of Reims’ goals, the 19-year-old has leaped at the opportunities handed to him by Oscar Garcia.
"It's all good"
Ekitike commented: “I knew I could get a chance this season. Things are going well, I‘m feeling good, I get on well with my team-mates and I’m scoring, so it’s all good!”
Indeed, there is room for improvement. For such a big player, Ekitike could be more effective in the air. He’s also made some youthful errors, like the one that led to his red card in Lens. Fortunately, his coach Oscar Garcia is pushing him to maximise his potential.
Ekitike admitted: “He’s very demanding. He asks the young players for a lot of effort, because he knows we have the energy. He doesn’t treat us differently to others, apart from perhaps being that little bit more demanding!”
The local lad who joined Reims aged 11 is living his dream. As a boy he used to sit behind the goal to cheer the team on and now Ekitiké is inspiring the next generation.