Is Jake Cooper the new Michael Hector? If you believe what The Times are saying, then yes.
The well-respected paper reports that Reading FC Academy graduate Jake Cooper is attracting the interest of Premier League sides Stoke City and West Ham United. The fee is rumoured to be a whopping £5 million.
The Times reporting Stoke and West Ham after Jake Cooper #readingfc pic.twitter.com/lZvNnJn57l— Mark Sugar (@marksugar) January 29, 2016
The giant 20-year-old has made only 29 appearances for the Biscuitmen and has never spent time away from the club on loan to gain valuable experience.
This lack of experience is both a positive and negative, with the two linked clubs obviously interested because he's performing so well without experience but also wary that he's learning as he plays, so he may be better of staying with The Royals for another season or so.
Personally, the £5 million fee is massive and I can't see the club turning that down, but equally it would also come down to Cooper himself and whether he thinks he has what it takes to jump up a tier at such a tender age.
I'd be disappointed to see him go, but if a multi-million bid comes in, can you really blame either party for letting him go? It would open up an opportunity for fellow Academy graduate Niall Keown to get some game time, and inject enough cash to bring in a replacement corner-scorer.