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Gillingham manager Steve Evans says 'outstanding' Mikael Ndjoli is the best finisher at Priestfield

Gillingham boss Steve Evans was told he was signing a finisher when he made the move for Bournemouth’s Mikael Ndjoli.

The 20-year-old proved what he could do on Saturday with a fine first goal against Wycombe and a well-executed penalty to seal the win against the league leaders.

Mikael Ndjoli made the difference on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Mikael Ndjoli made the difference on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans knows Ndjoli has much to learn, and admitted his weekend performance was not perfect, but was glad to see the player showing some of that potential.

“He is an outstanding finisher – the best finisher at the football club,” said Evans, who signed the player following conversations with Ndjoli’s former boss Steve Clarke from his time on loan at Kilmarnock last season and Eddie Howe, who manages Ndjoli’s parent club Bournemouth.

“He is still learning,” Evans continued. “He wasn’t overly involved in the play for the full 90, he was giving it away.

"His touch wasn’t quite right but sometimes that comes from not being in the team anyway and not being up to speed.

“I go back to the two comments from Steve Clarke and Eddie Howe, they said if you make chances he will put them in the net. His first finish, it was absolutely tremendous, with the outside of his foot it swerves in. It is the only way to beat the keeper.

“The senior staff there at Bournemouth all said he was young, he still needed developing, he has all the attributes, like (first team striker) Callum Wilson.

"He has pace and he gets in behind and if you make a chance he will take it. We are pleased for Mika.”

Ndjoli had a good week leading up to the match, with three goals in a practice game and impressive performances in training.

Evans said: “I don’t just believe in watching those (practice) games. Yes he got a hat-trick, but on Thursday and Friday in training he was terrific. I said to (assistant manager Paul Raynor) Rayns, on Thursday, ‘we have to play this boy’. He is ready to play.”

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