Congratulations to Cesare Casadei, your March 2023 player of the month!
He had just the one opponent for the vote, which was pretty much unavoidable given how poor Reading were in general last month. That opponent - Nesta Guinness-Walker - took 38% of the vote while Casadei came in with an impressive 62%. Still, while he’s yet to hit full stride at Reading, Casadei started to find his feet at Championship level and deserved March’s award in his own right.
Having only played twice in February (at home to Watford and Blackpool), he appeared in all five of Reading’s matches last month - although one was a last-minute outing off the bench at home to Sheffield United.
The highlight of those five games was undoubtedly the trip to Blackburn Rovers when he scored an excellent goal from outside the box. Linking up with Lucas Joao, Casadei struck the ball low and hard to beat Rovers keeper Aynsley Pears. Casadei otherwise showed promise in home matches against Millwall and Hull City.
Reading will need all the quality possible if relegation’s to be avoided this season, particularly now that Tom Ince is injured. Hopefully Casadei can step up and provide that, but the Royals need to get him involved higher up the pitch more often; he wasn’t in the game enough on Saturday, as has been the case numerous times already.
The positive news though is that Paul Ince appears to trust Casadei more than he used to. Besides the five appearances last month, it’s probably significant that Casadei was kept on at Bristol City when Tyrese Fornah went off, meaning the Italian partnered Jeff Hendrick in a 4-4-2. That’s a demanding role to play in general, let alone away from home against a decent side in Bristol City.