KWAME Poku has put pen to paper on a new contract with Colchester United.

And the teenage attacker's new deal is reward for his eye-catching performances, according to U's head coach John McGreal.

Poku, who joined Colchester from non-league Worthing last summer, has signed a new two-and-a-half year contract which will keep him at the JobServe Community Stadium until the summer of 2022.

The talented 18-year-old has made 17 senior appearances for the U's since making his first-team debut for them at Gillingham, in September.

Former Crystal Palace youngster Poku has impressed with his displays and boss McGreal is happy to see him commit his future to the U's.

McGreal said: "I'm delighted and it's a full reward for how Kwame has been performing.

"Since he came into the team, he's performed to a really good level.

"It's a club of opportunities and he's only just turned 18 recent, too.

"He's put in some really strong displays throughout the dozen or so games that he's played.

"I'm delighted for the club but I'm also delighted for Kwame because it shows a good maturity for him to be in and around the team."

Poku had not previously played at EFL level, prior to making his Colchester debut in their 3-2 Trophy win at Gillingham at the start of September.

Since then, he has played 16 further times for the U's - scoring twice - and has established himself as a regular in McGreal's starting line-up.

"Has it surprised me how quickly he has come on? I think it has to be fair.

"In the summer, there wasn't really a mention of him from within.

"We knew that we'd signed him and we were bringing in other boys as well, to get the squad stronger after losing a few boys in the summer.

"His name got flagged up by (director of football) Tony Humes and (director of performance) Jon De Souza, who'd watched him in little bits with the under-23s.

"Steve (Ball) and I were just watching training at times and once we got him involved with the first team, then it was a no brainer.

"He's improving his game and I've played him in different positions.

"The good thing with Kwame is that he very rarely gives the ball away and there always tends to be a little bit of an end product.

"To have that trait at such a young age will stand him in good stead, especially in the attacking third.

"He's still learning and developing and there's no better club to try and do that."