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…
Reading defender Omar Richards has emerged as a potential transfer target for Premier League side Everton according to the Daily Mail.
Richards has been a key player for Veljko Paunovic’s side this season, as they mount a surprise challenge for promotion into the top-flight.
Reading are currently sat eighth in the Championship table, and are only outside of the play-off places on goal difference, so they’re certainly in with a chance of a top-six finish this term.
Richards has made 19 appearances in all competitions for the Royals, but is out-of-contract at the end of this year’s campaign, which has seen interest rise in his services heading into the January transfer window.
It had previously been reported by the Reading Chronicle that both Crystal Palace and West Ham United were also keen on a deal to sign the 22-year-old, although it remains to be seen as to which club is leading the race to land his signature.
But would Richards be a good signing for Everton and would he be ready to step up to the Premier League at this stage of his career?
This could be an interesting signing for Everton but Richards is someone they’re going to have to be patient with if they do land him.
The 22-year-old has been hugely impressive for the Royals this term, with his defensive solidity proving particularly vital.
I do think he could have a future in the top flight but I’m not sure he’s ready to be playing for a top-half side like Everton just yet as I’m not sure he offers enough going forward.
Ancelotti has turned them into a side competing for a European place and I think that might be too much of a step up in quality for Richards.
The left-back could be a good investment but they will have to be patient.
This is a move that could certainly make sense.
Omar Richards is looking very good for Reading and at 22 years of age it may be the case that he’s ready to step up a level.
Given his contract situation, that could happen sooner than the Royals would like. For Everton, it could be a shrewd move.
Lucas Digne has the spot on the left side of defence nailed down at present, but the Toffees will be keen to build for the future.
Richards is certainly a contender to do just that, and while he might not be an automatic starter straight away, it could be a decent move.
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This could be a useful piece of recruitment from Everton.
Given they found themselves having to use Ben Godfrey as a stand-in left-back against Arsenal on Saturday, they could benefit from an extra option on that side of their defence.
Considering what he has shown for Reading in recent years, Richards may not be a bad option to fill that role as cover in that position, and he would surely relish an opportunity to prove himself at that level, while at 22-years-old, he has plenty of time to develop into a regular starter for them.
Indeed, with Richards’ contract at the Madejski Stadium expiring at the end of this season, this ought to be a deal Everton should be comfortably able to afford, thus reducing the financial risk of this deal if it does not work out for whatever reason, meaning it could be well worth the Toffees looking into making this happen.