It’s not secret that Reading need a new striker this summer - in fact, Paul Clement hinted on Wednesday that the club would ideally like not one but two forwards to come in before the end of the transfer window. The day after, it emerged that one of those could be Coventry City’s Marc McNulty. Although some of you may have heard of him, he’s not quite a household name at this level, so we’ve put a little fact file together on him.
First things first, how do we know Reading are interested?
At the moment we’re going on two reports - one from Sky Sports which says that the Royals have so far put in two bids - both rejected, with the second being just north of £500,000.
There’s another which, weirdly, comes from a golf reporter at the Guardian. @MrEwanMurray claimed Reading had put in a third bid for McNulty, which suggests he’s talking about the same thing as Sky, and that Clement is set on signing the player.
Who is he?
Marc ‘No Middle Name’ McNulty, born September 14 1992 (25 years-old) in Edinburgh, is a Scottish striker. He is not to be confused with Irish-Zimbabwean golfer Mark McNulty
Where is he now? Where’s he been?
He’s currently at Coventry City, who he joined on a free transfer from Sheffield United in the summer of 2017. He’d been at Bramall Lane for three years, although that included loan spells at Portsmouth and Bradford City. Before then, as a youth player he’d been released by Hibs, but revived his career at Livingstone, scoring on his professional debut at 17 years-old in a 3-0 win at Montrose.
What’s his goal-scoring record like?
Really good, although he’s yet to be tested at Championship level or equivalent. Across his previous clubs, he’s got:
46 in 113 for Livingstone,
14 in 56 for Sheffield United,
12 in 34 for Portsmouth,
1 in 16 for Bradford (ignore that bit),
...and a whopping 28 in 52 for Coventry City - all coming last season. He even chipped in with 11 assists for the Sky Blues as he fired them to play-off success over Exeter City.
What kind of striker is he?
At 5ft8, he’s not the ‘big man up top’ Reading have been used to in recent years. In fact, to get the best out of him you’re likely to need a strike partner - for Coventry that was 6ft forward Maxime Biamou. Paul Clement may try to use McNulty as a lone frontman, but that probably wouldn’t be playing to his strengths.
Can he cut it at Championship level?
Debatable. On the one hand, you can look at that impressive career-long strike rate of 101 in 271, but then again you’d have to ask: why’s he not made the step up earlier?
That said, at the age of 25, time is still very much on his side.
Will Reading actually get him?
At the moment the jury’s out. Coventry fans on Twitter laughed off the news that our second bid - for League Two’s top-scorer last season - was just over half a million pounds, with one speculating that it would take closer to £2-3m to tempt their club into a sale.
That shouldn’t really be too much money for us, especially considering:
a) We spent way more than that last season, so the funds are presumably still there,
b) We’ve not yet splashed that cash on any transfer fees. Andy Yiadom, David Meyler and John O’Shea were all free agents.
What do you think? Should Reading be going after League Two’s top-scorer, or should they be aiming a little higher? Let us know in the comments or on social media.