KWAME Poku's rise to prominence for Colchester United has been there for all to see, over the past 12 months.

It is merely a year since the teenage attacker made his senior debut for the U's in an EFL Trophy match at Gillingham, last September.

But it is a measure of Poku's flourishing reputation that he is now seemingly one of the first names on the U's teamsheet.

Poku established himself as one of League Two's brightest young prospects last season, leading to him being named the U's Young Player of the Year for the 2019-20 campaign.

The 19-year-old finished the season with five goals and a hatful of assists to his name in his 38 league and cup appearances for Colchester.

But it seems as though the former Millwall youngster has another side to his game, if data from the football stats website is anything to go by.

Poku made an impressive five tackles in the U's 0-0 draw at Valley Parade, the most of any player on the pitch in the League Two opener.

He combined that side of his game with his usual attacking input, with the three shots he registered more than any that of any Colchester player.

U's head coach Steve Ball last month said Poku is a great inspiration for other U's youngsters to make the breakthrough to senior football - and has backed him to shine for his Colchester side this season.

Ball said: “I remember it vividly, last season.

“We watched Kwame play at Florence Park for the under-23s in a pre-season match and instantly we thought ‘this kid is robust enough, confident enough and certainly good enough to cope with division two’.

“That’s why every game that these kids play is a platform and opportunity to stake a claim.

“We’ve had young players go out on loan but there are also players like (Kwame) Poku who will have their opportunities, too.

“There’s a chance for players who haven’t had loans to hit the ground running in pre-season and show me that they’re at the right levels and they will get chances."