With the January transfer window here, talk of signings are abound with Jose Gomes himself saying that he wishes to bring players in during this window. So it’s only right to take a look at some of the players Reading could/should be looking at. This is by no means a definitive list and are merely a few suggestions, but they’re realistic targets and come from the outside-the-box thinking Reading will need to use this month.
Jose Gomes has hinted in his interviews that the incoming players this window are likely to be on loan; these deals being easier for the club to push through in a short time frame. They would provide game time for players that are struggling for minutes at teams higher up the pyramid.
One player struggling for minutes is Adama Diakhaby, 22, at Huddersfield Town. Having joined from Monaco in the summer he has only played 231 minutes, not featuring since October. Stylistically, he is left-footed and plays off the right, looking to use his pace and dribbling.
Due to a lack of playing time in recent years, it is best to go back to his time at Rennes in 2016/17 to demonstrate his dribbling style, when he completed 4.1 dribbles per 90 minutes. To provide some context Mo Barrow has averaged 1.6 successful dribbles per 90 this season.
However, end product has been hard to come by at Premier League level, with Diakhaby not registering a goal or assist in his seven top flight appearances this season - despite his pedigree at youth level having featured for France under-21s. Given that record, and time at Monaco, it would be a hard sell for Jose Gomes but one that could pay off if the manager could convince Diakhaby that a move south would be a catalyst to ignite his career.
With Portsmouth flying high at the top of League One, Lowe has been one of their stand-out players, recording 11 non-penalty goals already this season. That tally immediately puts him well above Reading wingers Modou Barrow and Callum Harriott, who have only scored once each, and seven-goal strikers Jon Dadi Bodavarsson and Yakou Meite.
It also comes off the back of an impressive record at a lower level. The Portsmouth man has netted 29 goals in 48 league appearances for Hampton & Richmond - that may be in the reduced standard of the Isthmian Premier Division and National League South, but it still shows the player’s goal-scoring instincts.
That strike-rate comes directly from his style of play. Lowe is a pacey winger who likes to not only beat players, but also get into the box - a look at his highlights shows his willingness to burst into the penalty area and go for goal.
Lowe is not going to be short of suitors this window, with many likely to come from the Championship. With Portsmouth heading to the Championship and Reading currently battling relegation it may be difficult to convince him to sign. However, he is due an opportunity at this level and money could potentially talk in this instance.
Now this is a rather left-field suggestion. Owusu, 22, is currently playing for Cukaricki in Serbia who currently sit third in SuperLiga. On viewing the league’s stats, it’s clear that he’s one of their shining lights, having registered five goals and six assists this season.
If Owusu were to be brought in, there would be the obvious questions as to how well he could settle in England, especially due to the physical nature of the Championship. However, the limited video clips available show him to be able to cope due to his impressive dribbling and low centre of gravity.
I also don’t profess to be an expert on Serbian football, but I can’t see it being the softest of leagues. From the video it is also positive to see that he is capable of coming short and linking play in tight areas, as well as having the ability and pace to stretch defences and threaten in-behind.
Given his current performances and a market value of €500k (Transfermarkt), it could be a relatively low-risk transfer financially for Reading if they are willing to take a risk on a player from a relatively unknown market. The club have not been averse to doing so in the past with the signings of Shane Long and Kevin Doyle, and may have to do something similar to stay on the right side of FFP this month.