Reading Football Club have a brilliant academy – producing players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michail Antonio is no mean feat, with other young players performing well for the Royals in pre-season.
Michael Olise has been one of the main highlights of Reading’s pre-season, performing admirably against Chelsea on Sunday and lighting up the Madejski Stadium. His performances have shown that he’s ready to play a role in the first team squad this season, just like fellow young players Josh Barrett, Tom McIntyre and Teddy Howe.
However, some players have failed to make an impression on Jose Gomes this season. Ryan East is one of those players who could have staked a claim for a central midfield role in the first team this season.
The squad depth in the centre of midfield has been an issue for Reading this summer, with Charlie Adam and Andy Rinomhota as the only defensive midfielders that Reading have at this moment in time. Advanced midfielder John Swift has also had to play there during pre-season.
East doesn’t look like he’s quite ready for the first team yet and is likely to be sent out on loan, especially if the Royals can purchase another central midfielder.
Here are three reasons why Reading should go ahead and send Ryan East out on loan to a lower league club.
He’s not quite good enough yet
As mentioned previously, East had a real chance to make that central midfield spot his own this pre-season. Reading are very short in that area and it would have been useful for the club if he impressed more during pre-season
The departures of Joey Van Den Berg, Lewis Baker and Saied Ezatolahi have left the Royals crying out for further signings in central midfield, even after the announcement that Charlie Adam had signed a one year deal with the club.
David Meyler has been frozen out of the first team, yet the promising Ryan East hasn’t shown anything to warrant a first team spot just yet.
Needs to build up his strength
A vital part of any Championship midfield is strength and physicality. Andy Rinomhota has the capability of competing with that in the second tier. However, it’s important that he has another strong, physical midfielder next to him.
This is something that Reading will have to rectify with another signing in midfield. The third and fourth tiers of English football, as well as non-league, are also very physical. East is likely to be sent out on loan to a club in one of those leagues, where he can get used to the battles and build up his strength.
If East comes back stronger, he will be a very valuable asset for Reading to have. There’s no doubt that East has the technical ability to make it, like a lot of the other Reading youngsters. However, without strength, there’s only so far Ryan East can go in professional football.
A chance to build up confidence
Confidence is key when playing regularly in any football league. A loan spell at a lower league club could give the defensive midfielder the confidence of knowing that he can compete in senior English divisions.
Andrija Novakovich is one example of a Reading academy youth graduate who vastly improved with loan spells in senior professional football. The striker had two different spells out in the Netherlands for SC Telstar and then Fortuna Sittard in the Eredivisie.
Going to a country that has a higher emphasis on passing football like the Netherlands could be beneficial for East, where he could flourish and gain confidence. However, he still needs to play physical senior football. Ryan East has the potential, now is his time to flourish out on loan.