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The Divine And The Sublime: Ovie Ejaria

A love letter to the one of the sauciest players to have graced the turf of the Madejski Stadium.

Huddersfield Town v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Luke Nickerson/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There were a few murmurs when Ovie Ejaria signed on deadline day that he was a bit of a pointless signing and our priorities should’ve been elsewhere. I don’t think there is anyone thinking that now.

He has been in imperious form this season; he just makes playing football look so effortless - which is even better due to the fact that, if you saw him walking down the street, the last thing you’d say his profession was is a footballer. He’s gangly, slender and skinny and he seems like a very quiet, shy and timid lad off the pitch - but boy oh boy does his football do the talking on it.

His ability to take the ball in the tightest areas and somehow dance past two or three players is astonishing. I genuinely don’t think there is another player in the Championship quite like him.

For any non-Reading fan potentially reading this and thinking “he’s only got two goals and one assist, he can’t be that good”: a) go and look at the quality of those two goals and that assist and b) please, please, please just go and watch him for a full game - then you’ll see why he has us Reading fans shaking our heads in astonishment for 90 minutes every Saturday.

There are at least three or four moments every single game where you just have to stand there in astonishment and laugh at how on earth he just did what he just did - it’s just not fair on everybody else really. His body feints, his pirouettes, his ability to drive forwards with the ball and dance pass players with ease: it’s just lovely to watch.

Reading v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

His close control is unlike anything I’ve seen in the Championship for a very, very long time. The referees should genuinely start checking for glue on Ovie’s boots because the ball just doesn’t leave them - it’s magical.

Not since Gylfi have we seen a player that gets us off our seats as much as Ovie. The players must love him as much as us fans do, too. If they’re ever in a bit of a pickle and find themselves under a bit of pressure, just give it to Ovie and he’ll get you out of it, no worries.

He’s also extremely intelligent and has a brilliant football brain. He knows exactly when to slow it down and exactly when to ramp it up - and he can do both of those things at the flick of a finger. He’s a player that can create something out of nothing, and talents of that nature are like gold dust these days.

The moment of play on Saturday against Preston , when he brought it down on the edge of the box, weaved his way past three players before getting cynically barged off the ball, was wonderful. And he does that minimum four times a game, every game.

You all should know by now, I love John Swift, and for creating chances and getting assists there aren’t many (if any) better than the former Chelsea man in the league - the stats show that. But in the last couple of weeks, Ejaria has overtaken his midfield maestro partner as Reading’s main man. We are blessed to have two such technically gifted players in our ranks.

At this point in time, he is honestly a class above everybody we play against. Defenders are frightened of him, while us fans sit in the stands chuckling at how this lad has ended up playing in a Reading shirt. He is just so much better than us and so much better than the Championship.

Honestly, they should start checking IDs before Reading games because some of the unadulterated filth that Ovie produces should have an age restriction on it. He is saucy, he is naughty and he is all ours for a mere £3.5 million. I’ll say that again just in case you think you misread it - Ovie Ejaria is ours for just £3.5 million - how good is that?

A genuine wizard plays for Reading and it won’t last forever, so let’s just enjoy it while we have the privilege.