There were high hopes for Sam Baldock when he arrived at Reading on a three-year-deal from Premier League side Brighton back in the summer of 2018.
The striker signed for an undisclosed fee, but hasn’t made the impact he would have first hoped for at the Madejski Stadium.
He has been restricted to just 14 starts for the Royals, which is going to be hugely frustrating for both Baldock and Reading supporters.
However, he has shown he has got an eye for goal, and already has five league goals to his name and will be keen to play his part as the Royals battle for Championship survival.
Jose Gomes recently revealed that Baldock is in line to return to the Reading side after a recent injury problem, but it remains to be seen as to whether he will be involved when he returns.
The summer signing could have some big decisions to make at the end of the season, with his future remaining up in the air at the Madejski Stadium.
We look at the THREE potential paths his career could take with Reading in the near future.
Fight for his place in the Reading side
Baldock has shown glimpses of his quality and has five league goals to his name this season and will be keen to add to that tally if he he is given a run in the starting XI by Jose Gomes.
In a Reading side that has struggled for goals this season he’ll surely fancy his chances at forcing his way back into the starting XI to provide them with the goals they need to retain their Championship status.
The transfer list
It seems unlikely that Reading would be able to get back what they paid for him when he arrived from Brighton.
But Gomes is likely to want to cut the wage bill in the summer and Baldock would be one of the obvious choices to be heading for the exit door.
His lack of game time, and higher wages are a recipe for disaster if Reading are to keep him at the club.
Continue to be frozen out by Gomes
Baldock has only made 14 league starts for the Royals and it’s clear to see that he isn’t favoured by Jose Gomes.
The Reading boss isn’t likely to start him ahead of the likes of Yakou Meite and Nelson Oliveira, and could continue to freeze him out of the first-team picture.
This would be the worst possible scenario for both parties involved as he’d be costing the club valuable money in wages.