In a rollercoaster of a season thus far, Reading currently occupy the last play-off spot.
The campaign started almost flawlessly, winning seven of the opening eight games and conceding just the single goal in the process, with inspiring performances all over the pitch.
Since then, Reading have shown glimpses of pure brilliance but have been equally prone to poor spells. Their inconsistency makes their promotion push that little bit more exciting; on their day they could cruise through the play-offs.
19-year-old Michael Olise has particularly shone this season, converting the promise he showed in the latter parts of the 2019/20 season into a consistent display of excellence throughout this campaign.
However, the 19-year-old’s progress has caught the attention of a whole host of higher level clubs.
Should Olise depart this summer, the Royals will have a difficult task of replacing the midfielder and whoever comes in will have some very big shoes to fill.
Here, we take a look at three possible Olise replacements that the Royals should consider…
This campaign has proved particularly difficult for Derby County, who find themselves deep within a relegation battle.
Should relegation become a reality, then a number of highly-rated players are likely to depart. One player who will be looked at is Louie Sibley.
The 19-year-old is an exceptional talent on the ball and is always looking to create when in possession.
Despite not starting too many games, he has often made an impact from the bench. His ability to travel with the ball and pick out the perfect ball with his excellent range of passing, makes him an undeniable talent.
Sibley has been capped by England at youth level and will be hoping to progress to the Under-21 set-up – he certainly has the ability to.
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Another approach Reading may lean towards is the loan market.
One particular player who will be hoping to prove their worth in the senior game is Chelsea’s Tino Anjorin.
The highly-rated attacking midfielder has impressed throughout his youth career with the Blues and has also starred on the international stage with England from Under-17 through to Under-19.
Amongst a plethora of loan options, Anjorin is one particular player who stands out. His ability on the ball, coupled with his raw physical attributes makes him one of the brightest prospects in youth football.
He travels brilliantly with the ball and has a knack of making the right pass at the right time. He also works relentlessly for his team and is as defensively competent as he is going forward.
Hull City’s Mallik Wilks is attracting interest from a whole host of Championship clubs and even the Premier League.
The 22-year-old, who is by trade a winger, has also impressed from a more central position behind the striker this season.
He has scored 17 goals this season and his consistent performances are deservedly being recognised by higher-level opposition.
Wilks’ versatility makes for an excellent coup for Reading.
The winger is equally as comfortable taking on a man as he is sliding the ball through to his striker.
If Reading were to make a move for the 22-year-old, they will need to be ready for some healthy competition.