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Opinion: A few conditions must be met if Reading FC are to pursue agreement for 27-y/o amid Middlesbrough interest

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Championship side Reading are interested in pursuing a fresh agreement for Chelsea left-back Baba Rahman, according to a report from Ghanasoccernet.com.

The Royals were in desperate need of a new left-sided player to come in following the departure of Omar Richards to Bayern Munich – and Rahman was their saviour as he secured a move to the Select Car Leasing Stadium last August.

Recording 29 league appearances during a spell that was slightly disrupted by the African Cup of Nations and an injury setback in the latter stages of the season, he endured a mixed spell in Berkshire, getting forward well at times but also displaying defensive vulnerabilities as well.

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Whilst many supporters will be pleased about this link, others may be underwhelmed considering he was part of a backline that had the joint-worst defensive record in the second tier during the 2021/22 campaign.

And this is why there needs to be a shake-up in the Royals defence if they are to recruit Rahman again – because freshening things up could enable the Berkshire outfit to have a much more successful campaign next term in terms of the number of goals they concede.

Unfortunately, they will be limited in what they can do in the coming months because they will be working within a tight budget as part of a business plan, so a rebuild at the back probably won’t be possible.

A formation switch could be a game-changer for the Royals though, with a back five potentially enabling Paul Ince’s side to cope better when their backs are against the wall.

Not only could it provide more defensive solidity – but it will also give the likes of Rahman and Yiadom the license to push forward more as wing-backs and considering the former’s defensive vulnerabilities – that could be beneficial for him.

Rahman may have only recorded one assist during his time at the second-tier side – but as this one assist against Huddersfield showed – he isn’t afraid to venture into the final third and arguably deserved more goal contributions to his name.

His cross for John Swift at Peterborough United (A) is a prime example, with his wonderful ball giving the ex-Chelsea man a brilliant opportunity to put the Royals in front at the Weston Homes Stadium.

There have been times when his end product has been poor – but that can be worked on and if he continues to have the confidence to get forward – he could be a great asset in a 3-4-1-2 formation, a system that may suit Ince’s side.

League Two side Port Vale showed plenty of wide threat during their play-off final against Mansfield last month utilising wing-backs and with Yiadom proving to be a threat going forward as well, having the Ghanaian duo in a more advanced role may pay dividends.

Width was a huge part of their two Championship promotion-winning seasons and it could be successful for them again next season if they focus on getting the ball wide again next term.

Playing two up top was also a key part of those successful 2005/06 and 2011/12 campaigns – and having someone alongside Lucas Joao could take the pressure off the Angolan to be their main talisman. They will need a few strikers if they want to start two forwards for the long term though. But a 3-4-1-2 could be exciting nonetheless.

Focusing more specifically on Rahman briefly, there are a couple of other conditions that need to be met if the Royals are to secure a fresh agreement for him.

Firstly, this should only be another loan agreement to minimise costs and the EFL business plan may end up preventing them from making this move permanent anything. And secondly, they shouldn’t be prepared to pay a considerable amount of his wages. Again, the business plan will restrict them.

If these two conditions can be met and the Royals switch to a back three/five, then they should be looking to battle Middlesbrough for his signature. Here’s how they could line up if they do win the race, with some in this 11 still needing to sign new deals:


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: A few conditions must be met if Reading FC are to pursue agreement for 27-y/o amid Middlesbrough interest

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