He wasn’t even a Reading player at the start of August, but Ovie Ejaria has been crowned your Player of the Month after receiving 58% of the votes in our poll earlier this week.
The Liverpool loanee, who is set to move to Berkshire permanently for a bargain £3 million next summer, achieved our joint highest average rating last month (7.2). He also got on the scoresheet twice, against West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town. For an in-depth look at how Ejaria excels in Jose Gomes’s system, check out Simeon’s Further Reading column following the 3-0 win over Cardiff City.
Fellow midfielder John Swift came second in the vote with 19%, while defender Michael Morrison completes the top three with 13%. After him came Rafael on 8% and George Puscas on 2%.
All in all, that’s a good month for Reading’s new signings, with Swift the only one of our shortlist to not be signed by the club in the summer - although Ejaria of course was on the books for the second half of last season too. Morrison and Rafael have both made very good short-term impacts on the first team, shoring us up defensively thanks to their experience and leadership. Getting both in on free transfers was some of the club’s better business in recent years.
Swift can perhaps count himself unlucky that his impressive month came at the same time as Ejaria’s stand-out performances. The Englishman is joint top for Championship assists and chances created this season - stats that surely would have earned him a player of the month gong if Ejaria hadn’t been around.
As for Puscas, he finished a fairly distant fifth place, but three goals in all competitions in his first month at the club is a decent enough introduction. We’ll be hoping to see him build up his consistency and understanding of the Championship in the coming weeks and months - if he does, he should do just fine.