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Vote For Your August 2023 Player Of The Month

A goalkeeper, two centre-backs and two forwards make up August’s shortlist.

Reading v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One - Select Car Leasing Stadium Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images

The first month of the new season is done, and it’s time to pick who Reading’s standout player was. August was decent overall for the Royals, consisting of three wins, three losses and a draw, but with performances generally encouraging. The best showing was certainly the 4-0 battering of Millwall in the League Cup, although that preceded a pretty horrid 1-0 defeat at Port Vale.

We’ve put together a five-man shortlist based on our Player Ratings. It’s a really nice change to be able to pick out five genuinely deserving candidates, contrasted to last season when some votes felt like a formality.

Nelson Abbey

Average rating: 7.3
MOTM awards: 2nd (Millwall A), 1st (Cheltenham Town H), 3rd (Exeter City A)

Of everyone on this list, Abbey has surely had the biggest rise in status this season. Having looked more likely to be a squad player this season in the summer, Abbey was given the captain’s armband and a spot in the starting XI against Millwall in the League Cup, then retained both in subsequent league matches against Stevenage, Cheltenham Town and Exeter City.

His average rating comes out as the joint-highest in the squad, along with Tyler Bindon, although Abbey’s played one more game - the 2-1 defeat at Exeter. Abbey has stood out for his defensive dominance and composure, but also his ability to progress the ball out from the back. One sharp pass against Stevenage was key in the build-up to the red card.

Tyler Bindon

Average rating: 7.3
MOTM awards: 3rd (Millwall A), 3rd (Cheltenham Town H), 3rd (Stevenage H)

Another surprise stand-out at the back, Bindon’s taken to first-team football excellently since his summer arrival from Los Angeles FC. Although I wouldn’t say he’s performed quite as well as centre-back partner Abbey, Bindon’s more than held his own, and doing so with so little experience (remember he’s still only 18) is particularly impressive.

He unfortunately didn’t feature in the game against Exeter due to injury, but it’s telling of how good his impact has been that he was missed already. Based on his performances so far, you’d think he’ll come straight back into the side in place of Harlee Dean when he’s able to do so.

Reading v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One - Select Car Leasing Stadium Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images

David Button

Average rating: 6.8
MOTM awards: 2nd (Port Vale A)

Reading’s new number one has gone under the radar somewhat in a distinctly young, fresh side, but he still had a strong August. In his four appearances, all in the league, Button picked up two clean sheets and conceded three times. His standout appearance was the 2-0 win over Stevenage when he pulled off some strong saves. He’s generally looked solid between the posts, and appears comfortable playing the ball out from the back as Ruben Selles wants his goalkeepers to do - bar one hairy moment at Exeter that wasn’t punished.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan

Average rating: 6.9
MOTM awards: 3rd (Peterborough United H), 1st (Millwall A), 1st (Stevenage H), 1st (Exeter City A)

Ehibhatiomhan’s started the new season like a house on fire, netting five times in his seven appearances across all competitions. That began with a brace at The Den in the League Cup, continued with another brace in the league against Stevenage, and was capped off in the final match of the month when he scored a late equaliser against Ipswich Town.

Further, Ehibhatiomhan is one of just four players in the squad to have played in every game so far - alongside Harvey Knibbs, Charlie Savage and the last man on this shortlist, just below. From those seven games he’s managed the second-highest average of any Reading player, but also come home with a whopping three man-of-the-match awards.

The last of those, against Exeter, showed how good Ehibhatiomhan can be in his all-round game, not just when he’s scoring goals. The youngster’s matured really well this season into a centre-forward capable of leading the line, making intelligent runs, bringing others into the game and getting into dangerous positions.

Caylan Vickers

Average rating: 6.4
MOTM awards: 2nd (Cheltenham Town H), 2nd (Ipswich Town H)

Last but not least, Ehibhatiomhan’s strike partner. Vickers is yet to score this season but he’s come close twice, being strongly involved in own goals scored by Cheltenham and Ipswich Town defenders. Despite being just 18 he’s not been overawed by League One football at all, constantly looking sharp, positive and creative in his play.

He gives Reading an extra dimension up top, dropping off to find pockets of space, getting on the ball and driving the team forward. Although he’ll have strong competition from Sam Smith and Dom Ballard, on the basis of how he’s done so far, Vickers should get plenty of first-team action this season.


Which of those five is your choice as August’s player of the month? Vote in the poll below or, if it doesn’t display properly on your device, try this link right here.