It’s been almost two months since the January transfer window closed, so we’ve seen a good amount of the players that came into the club. In total, five arrived on loan: Emiliano Martinez, Matt Miazga, Lewis Baker, Ovie Ejaria and Nelson Oliveira. On paper, they all added something that Reading lacked: quality in goal, aerial dominance at the back, technical ability in midfield and goals.
But we want to know what you think of their progress so far, so we’ve put together a few polls below. How do you rate each player’s impact at the Madejski Stadium, and which of them would you like to see stick around next season?
Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal)
TTE average rating: 6.4
The Argentine ‘keeper has made a great impact at Reading since arriving from Arsenal, playing in every game for which he’s been available. Not only has his shot-stopping been excellent, but he’s also commanded his box very well and started attacks with his composed, accurate distribution.
It does however look unlikely that he’ll be here next season. Arsenal reportedly want him to be their second-choice ‘keeper when Petr Cech retires in the summer, meaning Reading would have to look elsewhere for a first-team stopper.
TTE average rating: 6.3
Miazga has had a similarly impressive all-round impact to Martinez, proving his aerial dominance but also bringing some class on the ball as Reading try to play out and keep possession. The Royals have been noticeably harder to beat with Miazga in the team, which shows how good his influence in the defensive third has been.
His future beyond the summer is a little up in the air. He could well return to Reading, but might command the kind of sizeable decent transfer fee that makes a permanent move unlikely. Otherwise Chelsea may opt to loan him to a Premier League club.
TTE average rating: 5.3
Baker, also from Chelsea, made a slow start to life at Reading. Having lined up as both a number ten and a box-to-box player in Jose Gomes’ 4-2-3-1, he’s more lately moved to a role in front of the back four in Andy Rinomhota’s absence. He’s looked better there, and seems to enjoy being in a position where he can dictate a game.
I’d put his chances of sticking around as pretty decent. He’s not settled into an English loan side before Reading (having failed to make the grade at Middlesbrough and Leeds United), so his parent club may see another link-up with Jose Gomes as the best way to develop Baker’s abilities.
TTE average rating: 5.5
Ejaria had a similar positional problem to Baker, being moved around the midfield a little before settling in a deeper role. For me, he’s not quite a number ten or a winger, so shifting him to the deep-lying two has been a wise choice. His mixture of technical ability, strength and close control have been assets for this side.
He’s also had trouble at other loan clubs - in his case Sunderland and Rangers - so Liverpool might be alright with him continuing at Reading.
TTE average rating: 6.3
Annoyingly, we’ve seen less of Oliveira than any other loan player, with the Portuguese striker missing the last few games due to injury. Before then though, he netted some crucial goals against Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Ipswich Town - strikes that could prove crucial come the end of the season. What’s more, his all-round play has added quality in the final third even when he’s not scoring.
Luckily for us, Norwich City want rid of him. Oliveira is well out of favour at Carrow Road, so they’ll be happy to offload him - even more so if they’re promoted to the Premier League. The question is, however: will we be able to afford his wages? Oliveira won’t come cheap, so would be a big investment.
There are two polls to fill out here. First, rate the impact of the five loanees from 1-5 - you can judge that however you like, but 1 is worst and 5 is best.
For the second, say if you’d like Reading to keep them or send them back to their parent club in the summer. Of course, there are plenty of practical reasons as to whether or not we’d be able to keep these players if we want to, but we’ll ignore those. Simply put, do you want them around next season or not?