This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
After a disappointing effort from his strikers in 2021/22, Wilder must be looking to freshen things up in his striking department this summer, with Joao potentially an option at his disposal.
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Joao has one year remaining on his current Royals’ deal, meaning the club must cash in on him this summer, or risk losing him for free in 2023.
The former Portuguese international striker has netted 38 goals and assisted 14 times for Reading since his arrival in Berkshire in 2019.
Able to play as a lone striker and as part of a forward partnership, Lucas Joao offers the adaptability Chris Wilder may need and he certainly has the goalscoring pedigree to be an asset.
Also able to hold the ball up well and possessing the technical ability to be a real game-changer, he has the attributes needed to continue being effective in the second tier, though his injury record is a source of concern.
In normal circumstances, they should be able to lure him to the Riverside for a cut-price fee considering he only has one year left on his deal.
But with the Royals operating under restrictions and being banned from spending high amounts, they may decide to keep the Angolan regardless of his deal expiring next summer.
Middlesbrough are seemingly casting a close eye to the striker market as they look to mount a promotion push next season.
There have been links with Lee Gregory, Viktor Gyokeres and now Lucas Joao.
An intelligent thinker in the final third, Joao is also a physical presence who dominates his offensive duels, proving to link up the play very well too.
He is also one of the best forwards in the division when it comes to his dribbling ability and quick feet, causing chaos with dangerous runs into the box.
Joao deserves to be plying his trade at the top end of the division and could be an excellent addition for Boro.
Joao would be a good signing for Middlesbrough this summer.
Although he was part of a poor Reading side this season, the forward managed to find the back of the net ten times in 24 appearances as well as registering three assists as well.
In the 2020/21 season, Joao scored 19 Championship goals showing he can perform at this level, and he has done so across a number of seasons with different teams in this league.
However, the one thing he probably has lacked at times is consistency which isn’t helped by playing in poorer sides. That being said, Boro seems like the right environment to gain stability and build consistency.
Chris Wilder will be keen to sign a striker this summer to add to his side, making Joao seem like a sensible option who would fit in well.