Vito Mannone had, reportedly, picked up an injury that would see him ruled out of first team action for the next two to three months. However, the Italian took to Twitter to completely deny that, and express his annoyance at the rumours.
I read some untrue rumours since this morning & want to clarify I picked up a minor injury vs derby working hard to be back vs wolves! ⚪️— Vito Mannone (@VitoMannone88) November 9, 2017
We had feared that the Italian would be out for up to ten weeks, but that appears to not be the case.
Either way, the Royals do have a massive injury bloc at the moment, which currently includes:
Evans, Mendes, Obita (long term), McCleary, Harriott (long term), Ilori, Quinn, Bodvarsson, Kelly, Smith, van den Berg and Aluko.
(Although some of those may be short-term knocks that could be sorted by the end of the international break).
Additionally, Tennai Watson hasn’t played at all this season, and Andy Rinomhota hasn’t featured since the beginning of October, but their statuses aren’t confirmed.
Time for Anssi
The below was written before Vito Mannone shut the rumour down, so is no longer irrelevant (although we still love you, Anssi).
Assuming this rumour is legit, it’s now time for Anssi Jaakkola to shine. The big Finn joined Reading over a year ago from Ajax Cape Town, but is yet to play a single minute in the league for the Royals, having been shut out by both Ali Al-Habsi and Vito Mannone. Instead, he’s been restricted to just six appearances in the League Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.
Interestingly, 30 year-old Jaakkola has tended to struggle for game time almost everywhere he’s been, playing just 126 matches in a career that’s lasted for more than a decade. Indeed, 96 of his appearances have come in the last four years, for either Reading or Ajax Cape Town. Before that, he didn’t manage more than nine games for any team during spells in Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Scotland.
Nonetheless, the 87 matches in Jaakkola’s three seasons in South Africa show he’s a perfectly capable ‘keeper, as does his Player of the Year gong in 2014. Expect Royals’ deputy goalie to seize his opportunity with both hands.
Well, with both gloves.