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View From The Town End: Lucas Joao

The Sheffield Wednesday view on Joao’s strengths, weaknesses and chances in Berkshire.

Sheffield Wednesday v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship - Hillsborough Photo by Nick Potts/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Reading finally have a new striker: Lucas Joao. The Sheffield Wednesday forward joined the Royals on a four-year deal late on Tuesday, becoming the club’s eighth (yes, eighth) addition of the summer - in addition to Joao Virginia, Rafael, Matt Miazga, Michael Morrison, Charlie Adam, Pele and Lucas Boye.

We were after some more information on the new forward, so turned to Sheffield Wednesday writer and host of The Championship Pod, Louis Shackshaft, who you can find on Twitter here. We asked him about Joao’s qualities, weaknesses, time at Hillsborough and plenty more.

How would you sum up his time at Sheffield Wednesday?

Overall, Joao has been a steady striker during his four-year stint at the Owls. He was brought to the club by Carlos Carvahal for a reported fee around the £2 million mark and he was only 21 years of age. We knew back then he had huge potential.

Mainly used as a substitute, he often showed glimpses of magic and the ‘player he could be’. He has always pushed for a first-team spot but often fell short due to our heavy striker selection headache. He will probably always be remembered for his goal in our 3-0 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup.

What style of striker is he?

Now this is the question that many Wednesday fans are probably still pondering over. Lucas Joao has it all but doesn’t excel at one individual aspect of his game. Frustrating I must say. He has pace, he can hold up and head the ball. He also has the ability to score from anywhere given the opportunity and his touch at times is world class.

However, inconsistency on all of the above is the main reason we still have question marks over his development and the main reason he struggled to hold down a regular place in our starting eleven.

What are his main strengths?

He will score goals, given game time, there is no doubting that. He has the ability to score these goals with his head, both feet and from long/short distances. It is for these reasons why he found himself in the Portugal national side, with two caps to his name so far. I’d expect him to score ten to fifteen goals for Reading this season.

Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal - Capital One Cup Fourth Round
Lucas Joao celebrates his goal against Arsenal
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

And his weaknesses?

Inconsistency, without doubt. He can be a world beater one week but then go missing for two/three games. However, if I had to highlight individual attributes that are generally poor, I would say he can give the ball away cheaply at times and he also has the inability to cross a ball.

What’s his character like, and how do Reading get the best out of him?

He has always been a good character to have in the dressing room; he remains a professional and I’ve never known or heard that he has caused any upset. He sees himself as ‘one of the lads’, in a positive way, in the sense that he has good rapport with his team mates.

Despite this, you could say Joao is a confidence player. When he first arrived at Hillsborough he often needed an ‘arm around him’ and reminding that he is an asset to the team. Whether this is still the case, I’m unsure. He’s a lot older now.

On the whole, is he a good signing for Reading?

Yes. Joao overall is a good player. Whether he is worth the reported fee that has been agreed is another but I would say he his definitely worth around £5 million in this day and age.

Lucas Joao has the strengths and skill set to be a Premier League player one day, or a 20 goal a season striker at Championship level. You only have to look at the goals he’s scored against Reading to know this, it’s there to see. For whatever reason, it just hasn’t happened for him yet, whether it will, only time will tell.