Nakoulma: Not all about the goals

FC Nantes frontman Prejuce Nakoulma has credited his new teammates for helping him to make an early impact in Ligue 1 ahead of the Canaries’ showdown with Caen this weekend.

29-year-old Nakoulma has taken his time to arrive at one of Europe’s major leagues, but has wasted little time in demonstrating his class since signing for the Brittany outfit earlier this year.

After a star turn for Burkina Faso at the 2017 Nations Cup in Gabon, the forward joined Sergio Conceicao’s team, and already has five goals in seven top flight outings after taking the league by storm.

“It’s just the beginning,” Nakoulma told Nantes’ official television channel after drawing a rare blank in the home defeat by Bordeaux on Sunday. “I don’t know how to explain it but it’s great, I’m very happy.

“But what’s important isn’t the goals, but that the team’s doing well,” he added. “We’re on the right track, I hope that things will continue like this.”

After two fairly anonymous showings to kick off his Nantes career, Nakoulma bagged a double to down Montpellier away, before another race saw local rivals Angers beaten at home.

He also scored the opener away at Saint-Etienne earlier this month.

“I try to adapt, I get on well with my teammates,” Nakoulma added. “They’ve helped me integrate since the beginning.

“The group have helped me,” he continued, “because they saw that I can help them as I imagined.

“I give 100 percent to help this group. For me it’s a great experience.”

When Nakoulma arrived, Nantes were still looking over their shoulder and keen to pull away from the dropzone.

Now, however, with five to play, they’re up in tenth on 42 points and could overtake ASSE into seventh with a win on Saturday.

“[Ligue 1] is difficult,” he continued. “[It’s] hard, with very muscular defenders.

“I’m very satisfied. I wanted to play as much as possible and help the group advance. For the moment, it’s great.”

Nakoulma represented a series of sides in Poland after leaving CF Ouagadougou in 2005, and spent two years with Turkish side Mersin Idman Yurdu after signing in 2014.

He was also part of the Burkina Faso team that reached the final of the Nations Cup in 2013, and scored against hosts Gabon in the group stage and Tunisia in the quarterfinals earlier this year as the Stallions finished third.

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