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Sell or keep? Andy Rinomhota at Reading FC as contract situation remains up in the air

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Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota is one of several first-teamers out of contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium next summer, potentially bringing the curtain down on a six-year stay at the club.

Initially arriving in Berkshire back in 2015 from non-league side AFC Portchester, he spent the first couple of years of his career with the second-tier side plying his trade in the under-23s and waited patiently for his first-team opportunity.

His breakthrough finally came under Paul Clement during the 2017/18 campaign, establishing himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet since then and being a reliable operator in the middle of the park.

Quiz: Have Reading FC ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?

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Emirates Stadium?

Injuries have marred his 2021/22 campaign thus far, only making five league appearances and being absent from the Royals’ first-team squad since the end of August.

Still, he is firmly in contention to earn himself a new deal after remaining fit for the vast majority of his spell at the Select Car Leasing Stadium so far, even winning the club’s player of the season award back in 2018/19.

Potentially in line to return after the international break, it remains to be seen whether he is able to regain his place in the starting lineup amid strong competition for a spot in midfield, but that isn’t the issue we’re analysing today.

Instead, we have weighed up whether the Royals should sell the 24-year-old in January or retain him beyond the upcoming winter window.

Sell?

Manager Veljko Paunovic recently revealed the financial situation at the club, after breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules, is currently making it difficult for the Royals to offer an attractive contract to star midfielder John Swift.

That same principle is likely to apply to Rinomhota, who signed fresh terms with the club back in December 2017 at a time when the Royals were spending heavily and able to offer lucrative deals to tie down some of their prized assets.

It remains to be seen whether he would take a pay cut to remain at the club, something that may not be likely if the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Josh Laurent and Tom Dele-Bashiru are ahead of him in the pecking order when he returns and his playing minutes are limited because of this.

This may persuade the Berkshire outfit to cash in on the 24-year-old whilst they can, funds that could be utilised to tie down the likes of Laurent and full-back Andy Yiadom down to new deals.

Realistically, they would probably make the sacrifice of losing a much-loved academy graduate if it meant they could extend the latter two’s time at the club, so there could potentially be an advantage there if they decide to sell.

Keep?

Looking more towards the long-term, losing the midfielder would be an absolute nightmare for Reading fans if they were unable to rebuild in the summer, because they would have very few existing options in the middle of the park after the end of this season without him there.

Not only is Rinomhota out of contract, but also Laurent who has been the subject of interest from the likes of Rangers, Brighton and Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest this year, with Drinkwater and Dele-Bashiru unlikely to sign for the Royals permanently on the expiration of their loan spells.

He may not be guaranteed to sign a new deal, but he is someone the club should be looking to offer a contract to as soon as possible to retain some sort of familiarity in the middle of the park next term, as a man the Berkshire outfit can count on if Laurent leaves.

A consistent performer in the centre and someone who has remained largely injury-free before this season, also able to slot in as a winger and at right-back as a versatile player, there are more reasons why they should be aiming to keep him as opposed to being willing to lose him.

An obscene bid would need to be accepted, something that probably applies to every out-of-contract player considering the Royals’ financial situation, but many fans will be expecting to see their side make a real effort to extend his stay and rightly so.


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: Sell or keep? Andy Rinomhota at Reading FC as contract situation remains up in the air

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