It’s that time again, we want to know which Reading player you think did best over the last month.
All in all, it’s been a pretty decent opening month for Reading, who sit 16th going into the international break, coming off a run of two wins, one draw and three losses in the Championship. In the League Cup, the Royals have made it through to the third round, beating Wycombe Wanderers and Plymouth Argyle to set up a tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
So who were the most impressive performers in August? Below, we’ve put together a four-man shortlist based on our average player ratings - you can read the full collection of them right here. We’ve excluded those to have started fewer than three games so that it’s only those who’ve appeared fairly regularly that are in contention.
So, in alphabetical order...
Average: 7.2 (5 appearances)
Man of the match awards: Cardiff City H (1st), West Bromwich Albion A (1st), Wycombe Wanderers A (2nd)
Sitting pretty with the joint-highest average score, Ejaria also has more top-three finishes for the man of the match vote than anyone else. He came second in this season’s debut at Wycombe Wanderers, then first against Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion - where he scores his second goal for the club. He would also net the opener at Huddersfield Town a few days later.
On the whole, he’s given the midfield a level of class that we didn’t have before, and his technical ability has been a joy to behold. Bringing him on a season-long loan which will turn into a permanent move next summer for around £3 million looks like fantastic business already.
Average: 6.8 (7 appearances)
Man of the match awards: Huddersfield Town A (1st), West Bromwich Albion A (2nd)
Morrison was a spare part early on, but Reading’s move to a back three gave him a key role at the heart of the defence. He lacks the technical ability of the Royals’ other centre backs, but his aerial dominance, experience and leadership ability have been key on a few occasions now.
A goalscoring display at Huddersfield Town was one such occasion, with Morrison also helping guide Reading through a rough opening spell to pick a clean sheet. He’d already stood strong in the 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns a few days before.
Average: 6.2 (6 appearances)
Man of the match awards: Cardiff City H (2nd), Wycombe Wanderers A (3rd)
The Romanian has the lowest average score on this five-man shortlist - just higher than Liam Moore’s 6.1 - but he’s already added extra class to Reading’s front line. With three goals - two against Cardiff City and one at Wycombe to open his account for the club - Puscas is the club’s joint top-scorer in all competitions (alongside Yakou Meite).
Of those three strikes, certainly the highlight was his individual goal against the Bluebirds at the Madejski Stadium. Puscas burst up the right wing on his own, held the ball up, beat Joe Ralls, cut inside and slotted home from a tight angle.
Average: 7.2 (5 appearances)
Man of the match awards: Wycombe Wanderers A (1st), Cardiff City (3rd)
The Brazilian ‘keeper has given Reading a much-needed boost of experience and composure at the back since joining on a free transfer. The inexperience of predecessor Joao Virginia was swept away almost immediately with an eye-catching debut at Adams Park, when Rafael won the shoot-out for the Royals with two big saves.
Since then he’s barely put a foot wrong, only conceding three goals in the subsequent four appearances: two penalties and a deflected shot from range.
Average: 6.3 (7 appearances)
Man of the match awards: Huddersfield Town A (2nd), Cardiff City H (3rd)
Despite a lower average than others on this list, and not yet winning a man of the match award, Swift has been much-improved on last season. He has more goal involvements than anyone else in Reading’s squad, with one goal and five assists from seven appearances in all competitions.
In fact, he’s more creative than anyone else in the entire division, having created a whopping 23 chances in six Championship matches. That’s six ahead of second-highest Mateusz Klich of Leeds United.
Vote for your player of the month
Use the poll below to vote for your August 2019 player of the month. If it doesn’t show up, you can go through this link right here.