Gabriel Osho has departed Reading after rejecting a new deal that would have seen him extend his stay at the Madejski Stadium beyond this summer.
The 21-year-old academy graduate, who has spent over a decade at the club, was one of only a couple of players we would have expected to sign a new contract, after impressing in the latter stages of last season.
Osho excelled at an academy level and spent time at local sides Maidenhead United and Aldershot Town between 2017 and 2018, before making his debut for the Royals against Middlesbrough in December 2018 alongside Tyler Blackett in central defence.
This was in the midst of a major injury crisis for the Royals at the back, with Tom McIntyre also making his debut in the previous game against Rotherham United, before picking up an injury himself to put Osho in line for his maiden start.
At a dark time for the club under caretaker Scott Marshall, Osho’s performance proved to be a shining light for the Royals and gave us hope for the future.
He went on to spend time at Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town in other loan spells, as question marks over his future at the Royals started to appear with his contract expiring in the summer of 2020.
However, an injury to Andy Yiadom and the likely departure of Chris Gunter at the end of the season opened the door for Osho to make an impact just after the restart, something he did right from the start of his mini-spell in the first team when the Royals won 5-0 away at Luton Town.
The 21-year-old was part of a defence that kept three cleans sheets against Luton, Huddersfield Town and Charlton Athletic - and seemed to slot in well at right back despite his natural position being in the centre.
Although he was dropped, we would have been expecting Osho to sign a new deal and become a valuable squad member for Mark Bowen’s rebuild for the summer.
It wasn’t meant to be.
Will he be another Jack Stacey or Tariqe Fosu? Or have we made the right decision to let him go in our current financial situation?
Personally, I am gutted to see him go. This is not just because he is an academy graduate - but he also showed a lot of promise under Mark Bowen and would have been a good option to have on the bench for next season.
However, we cannot turn back time and all that remains to do is wish Gabriel Osho the very best of luck for the future!
We will always have this to look back on: