Mali youth international Mamadou Doumbia has signed a six-year contract with Watford and will join the club on July 1.

The 6ft 3in left-footed striker celebrated his 18th birthday yesterday (February 18).

Doumbia currently plays for Black Stars FC in his home country, and caught the attention of the wider footballing community when he scored four goals in five appearances for Mali at the Under-17 African Cup of Nations in May 2023.

He followed that up with another four goals at the Under-17 World Cup in Indonesia in November.

The striker scored a hat-trick in Mali’s opening 3-0 over Uzbekistan – who later knocked England out - which set them on their way to finishing second in their group.

Wins over Mexico and Morocco took Mali to the semi-finals where they lose 2-1 to France, having led 1-0 at half-time.

Doumbia then scored the second goal in a 3-0 win over Argentina to earn Mali third place in the tournament.

In an article last year on the website, Doumbia is described as “a player who has the potential to become a key player in a top European club”.

The article says he is a modern-days target man with “killer instinct, great off-the-ball movement, timing, intelligence, composure, and flair in the final third”.

It goes on to comment that Doumbia “in addition to superb link and hold-up play, also knows how to turn with a player on his back and make powerful runs to beat the defensive line".

It adds he has a “great sense of positioning while receiving through balls” and is “extremely difficult to knock off the ball thanks to his strength, ability to shield the ball, and technique”.

After Doumbia’s hat-trick against Uzbekistan in the Under-17 World Cup, his teammate Ange Martial Tia said: "He’s our Erling Haaland. He can do it all.

“He’s big so he’s good in the air, but he’s also very quick for his height, particularly over distance. He helps us in so many ways."