In alphabetical order...
Average rating: 5.86 (7 appearances); Man of the Match awards: 1st (Fulham A), 2nd (Aston Villa A), 2nd (Preston H), 2nd (Sheffield Wednesday A), 3rd (Sunderland H)
Liam Moore may get most of the plaudits in the centre of defence, but a lot of praise too must go to Tiago Ilori, who after a difficult season ended 2017-18 on a high. Whilst it may be indicative of his slow start to life in Berkshire that the matches against Preston and Fulham were both described as Ilori’s ‘best Reading performance’ in our player ratings, it’s also a sign that he may finally be living up to transfer fee we paid for him in January 2017. His one and only TTE man of the match award of the season came in that game at Craven Cottage, whilst the 25-year-old also looked more than comfortably covering at right-back in the final two fixtures of the campaign.
Average rating: 5.71 (7 appearances); Man of the Match awards: 3rd (Aston Villa A), 3rd (Preston H), 3rd (Fulham A)
He’s not the heroic goalkeeper that Ali Al-Habsi was, but Vito Mannone has largely been a reliable presence between the sticks this season and made some important saves in the final few weeks of the season to help Reading secure safety. The thrashings at the hands of Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich don’t look good for him on the surface, but in truth the score could have been a lot higher had Mannone not been on hand to rescue the Royals on a number of occasions. The Italian is still partial to a few errors as shown against Ipswich and Villa, but most keepers are, and Reading shouldn’t need to upgrade him in the summer.
Average rating: 6.00 (7 appearances); Man of the Match awards: 1st (Aston Villa A), 1st (Preston H), 1st (Sunderland H), 2nd (Fulham A), 3rd (Sheffield Wednesday A), 3rd (Cardiff A)
Arguably the best player since Paul Clement has arrived at the club, Liam Moore was back to his best for the final few weeks of the campaign after a largely underwhelming year. Always on hand to make an important block, tackle or clearance, the 25-year-old is a commanding, imposing figure at the back and is already being touted as future captain. He picked up four out of the seven TTE man of the match awards in April/May, and was also named the club’s official Player of the Season. It is vital that Reading keep hold of him this summer.
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