DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO FRANCE
|Full name||Jirès Kembo-Ekoko|
Jan 8, 1988
Kinshasa, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
|Age||33 years old|
|Arrival(s)||Formed at the academy|
After a spell at Clairefontaine, Jirès Kembo-Ekoko finished his development at Stade Rennais. The French-Congolese player started his career as a centre-forward before progressively ending up playing on the wing. This new role gave him lots of freedom and the opportunity to demonstrate his dribbling skills, as well as his passing and shooting ability. Turning professional in 2006, Kembo obtained French nationality in 2008, and was quickly called up to the French U21 side. At club level, his breakthrough took longer, mainly down to his inconsistent displays, going from magical dribbles to misplaced passes. His successive managers, Dréossi, Lacombe and Antonetti, only used him as a supersub. After Bangoura, Briand, Gyan and Sow had left in 2010, he got into the starting line-up and scored three goals in as many games in the autumn. But at a time when his career was finally starting to get off the ground, he suffered from a series of injuries which were to spoil his year in 2011. He bounced back in 2011/2012 with 13 goals, and left the club - with a year left to run on his contract - to join Al-Aïn.