The Royals are already short of forwards with Lucas Joao currently out of action with his own injury, Femi Azeez set to be on the sidelines for the next eight weeks and Shane Long not fully up to speed despite starting against Cardiff City today.
George Puscas is another potential option for the Berkshire outfit – but he has been linked with a move away from the Select Car Leasing Stadium this summer and is looking to secure a transfer.
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It’s also believed the Berkshire outfit were happy to shift him on, though it remains to be seen whether that stance has changed with their current lack of options up top.
One thing that could accelerate a potential transfer is their need to get a high earner off the books before more players can come in, with Naby Sarr currently unable to seal his move to the second-tier side due to their transfer restrictions and Omari Hutchinson also being heavily linked with the Royals.
With no other players coming in at this stage though, they currently have a shortage of options and Meite is the latest attacker to be ruled out.
This is a bit of a blow for the Royals because Meite is a player that can be a game-changer with his energy and scoring record, with the Ivorian being a consistent goalscorer during his time at the SCL Stadium.
It’s now up to others to step up to the plate, though Ince will be worried about playing Long too frequently with his current fitness issues.
In midweek, it would make sense to give some of the younger forwards including Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan, Jahmari Clarke and Nahum Melvin-Lambert a chance to shine considering the second-tier club’s busy schedule.
Although that may be a sign of disrespect to Stevenage, the Royals simply can’t afford to suffer injuries during this upcoming Carabao Cup tie considering the number of players they already have on the sidelines.
They may have been able to get over the line today, with some of their youngsters including Ehibhatiomhan and Kelvin Abrefa both performing well against the Bluebirds, but they need as many options as possible with Sarr and Mamadou Loum not yet being cleared to either sign or play for Ince’s side.