Sam Nombe: Exeter City striker repaying club’s ‘investment’ with goals – BBC News

Sam Nombe
Sam Nombe has scored more EFL goals in his past six games than he had previously done in his entire career

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor says Sam Nombe is repaying the investment the club has made in him.

Since then a striker who had struck only two career EFL goals has shone, having scored in each of his past six matches for Exeter.

“He’s young and raw, but he’s confident at the moment and he’s finding the back of the net,” Taylor told BBC Sport.

“You can see how he’s already got an affection which goes both ways with our supporters, and a connection that goes both ways.

“He’s all-action, a real heart on the sleeve sort of player. He leads the line really well, will make mistakes, but you can forgive him that because he gives absolutely everything no matter what, and that was a player we wanted to invest in.

“He dropped down a level from a League One club, he didn’t have to do that as he was still under contract.

“So as much as we’ve invested in him, he’s invested in us.

“There’s still a long-term plan here for Sam, we gave him a three-year deal for a reason, part of that is security, but a long-term investment in him.”

‘We wanted him to come in and lead the line’

Sam Nombe
Sam Nombe had a loan spell at Luton Town in the Championship last season before moving to Exeter

Nombe’s move to Devon was made possible by the fee Exeter received from Shrewsbury Town for the summer sale of Ryan Bowman.

Bowman scored 34 goals for City in his time at the club, having replaced another prolific marksman in Jayden Stockley who was sold to Preston North End in January 2019.

Nombe’s run is even more remarkable when you consider that he missed much of the start of the season having contracted Covid-19 and was not an established regular in the EFL.

“Part of our remit when we were signing him and part of our discussions was that we wanted him to come in and lead the line,” added Taylor.

“We were after a number nine, we were after a physical player and he was going to get the security of that no matter where his game was at, that we were going to keep on backing him.

“He’s only really been part of the main group for the last seven or eight games in a full capacity, so that’s a hell of a return already.”

Exeter’s reputation for developing players is well-noted – their academy has produced graduates such as Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu who have gone on to win international honours – while the club has sold players for decent fees every year since 2017.

And while Taylor does not want to see Nombe go, he is aware that if he keeps scoring goals there will come a point where the club receives an offer that it will not be able to refuse.

“The fact that he’s young and he’s got good physical attributes means that he’s going to get attention and we all know what happens when players get attention.

“We’ve just got to be right that if he did move it’s on our terms, it’s right for Sam and it’s right for the club.

“But he knows that he wants to keep on developing with ourselves over a longer period.”

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