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Reading FC Rumour Tracker Summer 2019

It’s set to be a busy couple of months in RG2.

Queens Park Rangers v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Jose Gomes’s first transfer window as Reading manager was a very strong one, as he brought in five loanees that all played a key part in the Royals surviving relegation. Now he’ll be looking for more success in the summer window as the club aim for a much better season in 2019/20.

The rumours have already begun about who Gomes might look to offload and who he might want to sign, and this is the place where you’ll find all of those reports in one place. Expect a busy couple of months until the window shuts on August 8...


Barrow bound for Turkey

GetReading, August 8

With so many additions made in the last few days of the window, there were always likely to be exits too. Indeed, Mo Barrow is set to leave Berkshire and head to Turkey, where he has offers from Süper Lig sides Sivasspor and Denizlispor. It is not known whether the deal will be a loan or a permanent transfer.

GetReading also suggest that Derby County were interested in the winger and held talks with Reading but couldn’t reach an agreement. Barrow will now miss Saturday’s game with Hull as he travels to Turkey.


Wolves seek deadline deal for Danny

GetReading, August 7

As the end of the transfer window approaches, a rumour from the start of the summer has re-emerged, with GetReading suggesting that Wolves are keen to act on their interest in teenager Danny Loader.

The Premier League outfit have reportedly made “several concrete offers” in the last couple of days for Loader, who Reading have still not tied down to a long-term deal. The Royals may be holding out for a larger fee, but the amount they would hope to receive is likely to be limited by the fact that the 18-year-old’s contract expires next summer.

Wolves have already bolstered their striking options by bringing in Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan this summer, but signing Loader, who has attracted interest from all around Europe in the last few months, could be seen as a significant capture.


Our Luc’s in

The Star, August 6

Reading are set to break the bank and pay £5million for Sheffield Wednesady forward Lucas Joao. We explain how they can fund the deal here with the player set for a medical on Tuesday.


Reading after Pele (not that one) [DONE DEAL]

Get France Football News, August 5

Having signed Lucas Boye and got close to bringing in Rafael (at the time of writing), Reading are shopping on the continent once more. This time it’s defensive midfielder Pele, who’s currently on the books of Monaco.

GFFN claim the Royals have put in both permanent and loan-to-buy offers for the player who was once on the books at Rio Ave - albeit before Jose Gomes took charge there.


Championship rivals interested in Gunter

Jonathan Low, August 5

Get Reading’s Jonathan Low has reported that Royals’ right-back Chris Gunter could be set to leave on loan before the end of the transfer window. Several Championship sides are believed to be interested in the Welshman, whose deal with Reading expires next summer.


Wickham to return?

Alan Nixon, August 4

Former Reading academy player Connor Wickham, who left before making an appearance, is reportedly of interest to us once more. However, we may have to fend off interest from other Championship clubs.


Reading looking at another goalkeeper [DONE DEAL]

Gianluca Di Marzio, August 4

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael wants to move to Reading. He’s currently on the books at Italian side Sampdoria, but played just four times last season so wants an exit. He’s asked his club to cancel his contract, with the Royals having already put an offer on the table for him.


Another Joao? [DONE DEAL]

Football Insider, August 2

Not content with one signing called Joao this summer Reading are apparently keen on another. This time it’s Lucas Joao from Sheffield Wednesday, according to Football Insider, who wrote that Reading have entered talks with Wednesday over the player (our number-one target).

This was backed up by Sam Rourke (founder/editor of Football League World).


Another goalkeeper?

Pete O’Rourke, July 31

HITC’s Pete O’Rourke claims that the Royals are after another goalkeeper: Northampton Town’s David Cornell. We’re apparently “weighing up a move”, alongside an unknown number of other clubs. Why Reading would go after another senior option in goal is anybody’s guess. Odd rumour, probably just agent talk.


Two more signings - but not this one!

Courtney Friday, July 31

It had gone quiet on the transfer front for a while but Chronicle reporter Friday popped up on Twitter to assert that the club are working on two more incomings by the deadline. He also said one man on their radar was Lucas Melano - a far-from-prolific MLS forward - but former GetReading man Charles Watts emerged to point out he had already signed for someone else four days ago. Awks.


Bonatini on Reading’s loan shortlist

Courtney Friday, July 26

Reading need a striker, and it could be Leo Bonatini. The Wolves striker is reportedly surplus to requirements at Molineux, and could head to the Madejski Stadium in search of more game time.


Bees buzzing around Ejaria

Goal, July 23

Courtney Friday had been reporting that Ovie Ejaria was near a loan return to Reading, but Neil Jones of Goal says there’s a problem. Liverpool want to sell the midfielder rather than loan him out again, and Brentford are interested in a permanent move for around £3m.


Matt’s back in town [DONE DEAL]

Twitter, July 22

Matt Miazga has been spotted in the Oracle ahead of a rumoured move to Reading, a loan that Chronicle old boy Courtney Friday reckons will be announced on Tuesday.


Royals looking at Adam? [DONE DEAL]

Courtney Friday, July 22

Charlie Adam, released on a free by Stoke City this summer, has reportedly been offered a contract by Reading.


Reading to Bo-stock up their midfield

The Sun, July 21

The Royals have been named as one of three Championship sides interested in bringing former wonderkid John Bostock back to England. The midfielder is currently at Toulouse, but has been linked with Reading, Nottingham Forest and Brentford.

There’s little detail on this rumour, and it could be simply that Reading’s interest isn’t that advanced or we’ve just been named by an agent to make him seem more in-demand.


Royals still keen to make Heneghan their man

Sky Sports, July 17

A month after The Reading Chronicle first revealed the club’s interest in Sheffield United’s Ben Heneghan, Sky Sports claim that initial enquiries have been made about the centre-back.

Sunderland are also named as interested in Heneghan, who spent last season on loan in League One with Blackpool.


Reading Amp up the pressure

Courtney Friday, July 16

Chelsea’s young star Ethan Ampadu is set to head out on loan this summer, a move confirmed by Frank Lampard, but his destination is unknown. Naturally, Reading are among those linked with Reading Chronicle/Twitter journalist Friday saying the club are keen on the midfielder/defender.


Southend teenager rumour Kel-d off

Basildon Echo, July 16

Southend United boss Kevin Bond has dismissed speculation Reading are in for striker Charlie Kelman, 17. When the manager was asked for his take on the gossip, he told the Echo: “That’s news to me.”


No More Nelson

Sportime, July 15

Hull City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Any Reading fans hoping Nelson Oliveira will return to Madejski Stadium will be disappointed by rumours he is instead off to Greece. It is said AEK Athens have agreed a two-year contract worth around £1million per season with the striker, who will put pen to paper on Friday.


Hibs still way off the Marc

Edinburgh Live, July 12

Hibernian are still desperate to sign Marc McNulty on a permanent transfer but boss Paul Heckingbottom has confessed that they simply can’t afford the striker. He told Edinburgh Live: “We can’t get it done at the minute. It’ll cost too much money. We’re not in a position to do it because either we’ve not got enough finance or what they’re asking is too much. If either of those change then maybe.”


Reading keen on Spurs youngster?

The Daily Mail, July 11

The Royals have been named as one of a number of Championship sides apparently tracking Spurs midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe. The 19 year-old has plenty of talent, but has only played one senior game in his career so far.

A move might well make some sense for Reading at the moment, given our willingness to use youth and general lack of funds. However, there’s no detail to the link at this stage, and it could simply be that we’ve only got a passing interest in the player.


Meite on his way out?

Gazzetta dello Sport, July 11

Sampdoria are reportedly interested in a big-money move for Yakou Meite. Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport claim the team are after a versatile forward this summer, and have identifed the Ivorian as a potential target. However, a few hours after the story started doing the rounds on Reading Twitter, journalist Courtney Friday claimed the attacker is not for sale at any cost.


Jon nearly gone [DONE DEAL]

The Sun, July 7

The full story:


Udinese in for Kelly

Get Reading, July 6

Reading v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images

Jaap Stam may have to fight off interest from Udinese for Liam Kelly’s services. The Italian club are ready to go in for the Irishman again, having shown interest in January - according to Jonathan Low of Get Reading.


Transfer-listed veterans attracting interest

Anthony Smith, July 6

Two players reportedly sidelined by the club and told to find new clubs - Garath McCleary and Sam Baldock - could be set for new challenges. Former Reading Chronicle reporter Anthony ‘Smudger’ Smith revealed that McCleary may be off to the United States - following in Vito Mannone’s footsteps, while Baldock could join Charlton Athletic.

Jonathan Low added more detail to the McCleary rumour several hours later, saying that the interest comes form “several American clubs”.


Kelly off to pastures new [DONE DEAL]

Jonathan Low, July 5

Fresh from breaking the Virginia news, Low tweeted that midfielder Liam Kelly could leave the club. Although he didn’t provide a destination for the player, reporter Courtney Friday claimed recently promoted Luton Town have shown an interest in a loan deal deal, and later that Kelly could link up with Jaap Stam once more.

That link originally came out in January 2019 when Stam was in charge of PEC Zwolle. He’s now at Feyenoord.


Driscoll off on loan [DONE DEAL]

Get Reading, July 5

As part of the story on Virginia’s potential arrival, Get Reading also mentioned that young goalkeeper Liam Driscoll could be set to head out on loan. The Aussie stopper is reportedly in talks with National League outfit Yeovil Town over a temporary exit.


Take me home, Joao Virginia [DONE DEAL]

Get Reading, July 5

The Royals are on the brink of making their first summer signing, according to Jonathan Low of Get Reading. Everton ‘keeper Joao Virginia should arrive on a season-long loan from Everton.


Twitterati spot Denzeil Boadu

Twitter, July 1

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Grant Halverson/International Champions Cup/Getty Images

A rumour chiefly because we don’t know if it’s him or a doppelganger, but former Borussia Dortmund player Denzeil Boadu appears to be training with the club. Fans spotted the attacking midfielder in the club’s ‘first day back’ photo gallery after his Dortmund contract expired. The 22-year-old Londoner has also spent time on Arsenal and Mancheser City’s books.


Bald-ly going... to a different club

GetReading, July 1

With the start of pre-season, the senior players set to leave the club became clearer with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Chris Gunter and Sam Baldock all told to find new teams - according to GetReading’s Jonathan Low. As training began, the Welsh defender posted a picture on Instagram next to a swimming pool with a puzzle book, captioned “mind boggling”. Very cryptic. Also, goalkeeper Luke Southwood is also reportedly free to leave.


Ejaria return edging closer

Football Insider, June 28

According to Football Insider, Reading are “confident” of brining Ovie Ejaria back to the club on loan next season. The Royals appear to be in the driving seat to seal the Liverpool man’s services.


Reading wonder over Wenderson Galeno

Futebol365, June 26

We wendered (sorry) how often Jose Gomes’s Rio Ave links would pop up in transfer rumours this window, and this week they have - as Wenderson Galeno has been linked with a move to Berkshire. The 21-year-old winger spent last season on loan at Gomes’s old stomping ground from Porto.

Galeno had an excellent campaign, scoring nine goals and registering 11 assists in all competitions. Despite this, Porto don’t seem that interested in keeping him, and a return to Rio Ave seems likely - although both Reading and French side Nantes are reportedly also keeping an eye. Any deal would be a loan with a mandatory clause to buy next summer.

How much truth there is in the rumour is unknown, but the Brazilian appears to be a very highly rated young prospect.


Royals interested in Pigott

The Daily Mail, June 23

According to Simon Jones of The Daily Mail, Reading want to make a £250,000 bid for AFC Wimbledon striker Joe Pigott. The 25 year-old scored 15 goals in 40 League One appearances for the Dons last season, which is enough for the Mail to describe him as “prolific”. There’s not much detail in the article beyond the player’s name, relevant clubs and price tag, but the Mail does say:

“Reading are ready to move quickly for Pigott knowing they could get trumped in the race for the forward by their Championship rivals.”

Which sounds like generic, blatant agent talk, doesn’t it? Not to mention that it doesn’t account for the fact that we’re in no position to ‘move quickly’ for anyone at the moment, whether for £250,000 or not. Unless Reading completely overhaul their striking department, we’ve got too many forwards as it is and have to get rid of a few of them for the sake of squad size and financial fair play.

On the face of it, this one doesn’t seem likely.


Bowen looking “likely” for DoF role

Tom Barclay, June 22

Sun journalist Tom Barclay, who broke the news earlier this week that Reading are under a “soft transfer embargo”, has added some weight to speculation that Mark Bowen will be our new Director of Football.

It’s not a new rumour, and Barclay doesn’t add any detail to what we already knew: Reading are close to bringing in Bowen behind the scenes. But it being reported by another reputable source suggests this one’s likely to happen.


McNulty fee proving tricky for Hibs

The Edinburgh Evening News, June 22

Marc McNulty wants to leave Reading for Hibs, Reading want that deal to happen too, and so too obviously do Hibs. The only problem? The transfer fee that the SPL side would have to cough up if they’re to turn the striker’s loan stay into a permanent one; McNulty spent the second half of last season there.

The Edinburgh Evening News report that Reading want to recoup the £1 million they spent last summer in signing McNulty from Coventry City. They say:

“It is understood talks are ongoing between the two clubs with McNulty... who has intimated his desire to return to Hibs, due to report back to the Madejski Stadium on July 1, Heckingbottom’s players having reported for the start of pre-season training yesterday.

“However, Reading, are prepared to play hardball, seeking to recover the seven-figure sum they paid - or at least the major share of it - as they find their own summer recruitment plans severely hindered by financial restrictions.”

Madejski, guys. It takes 30 seconds to Google.

It suggests that no deal is imminent, but we should be able to strike one eventually. The key thing is to get McNulty’s wages off the books, and the bigger the transfer fee on top of that, the better.


Mo money? Mo problem

Jason Burt of The Daily Telegraph, June 20

CD Cova da Piedade v FC Pacos de Ferreira - Liga Ledman Pro Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

In spite of the news that Reading are under a ‘soft transfer embargo’ from the EFL, they’ve reportedly made an offer for Mohamed Diaby according to Jason Burt, the chief football correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. Diaby is a 22 year-old defensive midfielder currently on the books at Pacos de Ferreira, although Transfermarkt says his contract is up this summer. That could be out of date though.

The player’s profile - young, cheap and stylistically the right fit for our midfield thanks to his decent technical ability - suggest he’s a realistic target. He could also fit in around the soft transfer ban - Reading can still bring in players as long as the EFL approve (how that’s judged isn’t clear though).

At the time of writing, the above points - plus it being from seemingly a reliable source - suggests this one might be a goer.


Episode Six: Return of the Ovie

Alan Nixon, June 16

Reporter Alan Nixon has vaguely claimed on Twitter that the Royals are in "pole position" to bring Ovie Ejaria back on loan. There's no more detail than that, and this could well be a rehash of the Goal rumour from before.


Royals look to add experience to midfield

Sky Sports, June 14

The process of trying to find a new club will be an unfamiliar feeling for James Morrison, who left West Brom this summer following a 12 year stay at the club. His search may lead him to Berkshire, with Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie claiming that Reading are interested in signing the 33-year-old for free along with Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City.

In his lengthy stint at the Hawthorns, Morrison made 341 appearances for the Baggies, including 21 in the Championship last season as they lost in the play-offs. Jose Gomes will certainly be on the look out for midfielders this summer, with Ovie Ejaria and Josh Morris linked already, but questions may be asked over Morrison’s age and whether he would really give the Royals the quality they so desire.


Reading to solve Heneghan’s quest for Championship football?

Reading Chronicle, June 13

There is a Matt Miazga shaped hole in Reading’s defence right now, and as it becomes increasingly more more likely that the American won’t return to fill it, . One of those targets, according to the Reading Chronicle, is 25-year-old Ben Heneghan - also linked with a switch to Berkshire in 2017 - and seemingly available for a cut-price fee.

Officially a Sheffield United player, Heneghan has never made a league appearance for the Blades and has reportedly been transfer listed upon their return to the Premier League. He spent last season on loan at League One Blackpool, making 49 appearances and impressing greatly, speaking at the end of the campaign about how he was aiming to play Championship football in 2019/2020.


No Celtic interest in Moore

Daily Record, June 11

Despite the suggestion earlier in the week that Celtic were keen to sign Liam Moore this summer, the Daily Record have confirmed that there is no truth in this rumour - although they do say that a centre-back remains a “priority position” for Neil Lennon.

We can rest easy. For now.


Another loan expected for Ejaria

Goal, June 10

Bristol City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Not for the first time this summer, Ovie Ejaria has been linked with a return to Reading after his successful spell at the Madejski Stadium in the second half of the season. Goal claim that Liverpool will once again allow the 21-year-old to go out on loan in 2019/20, with Berkshire his likely destination. Blackburn Rovers are also reportedly interested.


Celtic want Moore defensive options

Courtney Friday, June 9

One of the last summer’s biggest transfer sagas was Liam Moore’s proposed switch to Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls reportedly met Reading’s asking price for the centre-back, who handed in a transfer request in order to push through the move before eventually signing a new contract in Berkshire after being told of his value to the club by the owners.

Now Moore is the subject of speculation again, this time Celtic being the team rumoured to be interested by former Reading Chronicle reporter Courtney Friday. The Scottish Premiership champions will see Dedryck Boyata join Hertha Berlin on a free this summer and Filip Benković, on loan from Leicester last season, is unlikely to return, leaving them short of options in the middle of the backline.


Royals seek Swede to replace Barrow

Footboll Direkt, June 6

The full story:


Young duo reportedly allowed to leave Royals

Football Insider, June 5

Whilst the focus of Reading’s summer clear out will be getting high wage earners off the books, it appears that Jose Gomes is also keen to get rid of a few youngsters too, telling goalkeeper Luke Southwood and striker Sam Smith (both 21 years old) that they are free to leave Berkshire according to Football Insider.

Both spent time away from the club out on loan last season with contrasting levels of success. Southwood, an Under-20 World Cup winner with England, impressed at National League side Eastleigh, keeping six clean sheets in total as the Spitfires finished seventh before losing to Salford City in the play-offs. It was not as plain sailing for Smith, who had a troubled time in League One - first at Oxford United and then Shrewsbury Town, failing to score for either club. Unlike Southwood, he has appeared 11 times for Reading’s first team, netting twice.


McNulty touted for return to former club

The Scottish Sun, June 1

A Reading exit appears inevitable for Marc McNulty this summer, with Hibernian - where he spent the second half of last season on loan - the favourites to sign him. However, a new (but old) club are also reportedly interested in buying the striker, as the Scottish Sun claim that McNulty’s former side Coventry City could make a bid for him.

McNulty had a hugely fruitful spell with the Sky Blues in 2017-18, scoring 28 goals in all competitions as they won promotion from League Two, leading Reading to invest in him last summer.

However, McNulty’s father Jimmy was quick to rubbish the rumour and he’s more reliable than a tabloid, so we’ll leave that one there.


Charlton play-off hero to join on a free?

Daily Mail, May 29

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off Final Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Patrick Bauer’s most famous touch as a Charlton player may be his last, as after scoring a 94th minute winner at Wembley against Sunderland to secure the Addicks promotion back to the Championship, a host of clubs are reportedly interested in signing the German.

According to the Daily Mail, one of those is Reading (along with Hull, Preston, Blackburn, Wigan, QPR, Rangers and Hibernian), who will be on the hunt for at least one centre-back this summer following the release of Paul McShane, the retirement of John O’Shea and the conclusion of Matt Miazga’s loan deal.


Ejaria set for Royals return?

Courtney Friday, May 24

In an ideal world, all five of the loanees that arrived in January and helped secure Reading’s Championship safety would re-sign for 2019/20, but finances make that scenario extremely unlikely. However, it does seem that Ovie Ejaria could be available again from Liverpool.

Former Reading Chronicle reporter Courtney Friday claims that several Championship clubs have offered the midfielder a loan move for the new campaign, and that his future will be decided after the Champions League final on June 1. Ejaria scored one goal and registered two assists in 16 appearances for the Royals last season.


Loader in demand and available on the cheap

Goal, May 23

The full story:


Gomes attracting interest from the Premier League and beyond

Sky Sports, May 22

Not the headline we wanted or expected to see this summer, but the reality is this seems like no more than a baseless rumour - it’s agent talk at best. The report is incredibly vague, not mentioning any supposedly interested club by name (there aren’t even any current vacancies in the Premier League). Whilst it’s true that Gomes has admitted his desire to manage at the highest level and he never sticks around at one club for very long, there’s little reason to get worried about his departure just yet.


Bristol City are Robin us of a signing

The Daily Mirror, May 18

The Mirror claim Reading were interested in Colchester United player Sammie Szmodics... but he’s instead set to sign for Bristol City. The 23 year-old Englishman is available on a free transfer, having scored 38 goals in 162 appearances at the JobServe Community Stadium.


Wolves want a Loader starlet Danny

Football Insider, May 16

England U19 v Czech Republic U19 - UEFA U19 Championship Qualifier Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

One of the most promising young players at Reading, Danny Loader was always going to be targeted by bigger clubs this summer. Wolves, who finished 7th in the Premier League last season, are the first side to be officially linked with the 18-year-old, with Football Insider claiming they’ll try and act early in order to secure Loader’s signature.

Loader made 22 appearances for Reading last season, scoring his first senior goal in the penultimate game of the campaign against Middlesbrough. He’s not someone the club will want to lose this summer, and if they’re forced to sell it certainly won’t be on the cheap. But ultimately if funds are needed to bring in new players, the teenager could well be a money-maker.


In-demand goalkeeper staying put

Sky Sports, May 14

Having already featured for Reading’s Under-23s despite being just 16 years old, it’s clear that goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke has a bright future. That’s been picked up on by Manchester United, Arsenal and PSG, who have all been linked with signing the young shot stopper.

However, Sky Sports claim that Boyce-Clarke will not be tempted by offers from those bigger teams, instead signing a new three year deal to continue his development in Berkshire. Good lad.


Reading face competition for out of contract midfielder

HITC, May 14

With finances tight at the Madejski Stadium, Reading may well have to pursue a strategy of signing a couple of out of contract players for free. One such player is Josh Morris, who has rejected numerous offers of a new deal from current club Scunthorpe United.

It’s been a difficult season for the 27-year-old midfielder, as injuries limited him to just 19 league appearances, in which he scored five goals and six assists as Scunthorpe were relegated to League Two. He certainly showed his talent in 2017/18 though, as he registered 11 goals and five assists in 44 games. According to HITC, Millwall and QPR are also interested in signing Morris.


McNulty “still a long way” from permanent Hibs deal

Edinburgh Evening News, May 10

Marc McNulty made a difficult start to life at Reading after his move from Coventry City last summer, and was made surplus to requirements in January following Jose Gomes’s arrival. A loan move to Hibernian, in his home city of Edinburgh, worked perfectly for the striker though, as he netted seven goals in 16 games in the second half of the season and also earned his first two international caps.

A permanent move to the Scottish Premiership club would seem the best move for all parties, but Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom has warned that signing McNulty won’t be easy.

“It is tough and it is changing every day,” the former Barnsley boss said. “We are relying on a lot.

“We are happy with him and I know he is having a good time here. But in terms of us as a club, Reading as a club, finances, wages, possible other interest, we are still a long way away.

“We need a lot of things to go right. The best chance we have is if we are determined to make it happen and Marc is determined to make it happen. If we get to that point then we can overcome a lot of things.”


European clubs hoping to find a Diamond

The Sun, May 10

A name that you probably won’t have heard of before, but a name that is reportedly on the radar of several of Europe’s top clubs: Diamond Edwards. The highly rated 16 year old has rejected a recent contract offer from Reading, increasing interest in his talent. AS Roma fancy their chances of signing him according to The Sun, with Southampton and clubs from Germany, Spain and France also interested.

Attacking midfielder Edwards is apparently open to moving abroad to further his career, having seen the impact Jadon Sancho has made at Borussia Dortmund. However staying at Reading may prove to be just as beneficial, with five academy players making their senior debuts last season, including Michael Olise who is just one year older than Edwards.