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Exit Through the Gift Shop

There's been upheaval at Reading in recent years, and this summer is no different, with even the Bosnian Messi leaving the club. However, more seriously, there's a few first teamers that won't be here come August as well.

Hal Robson-Kanu is having an absolute whale of a time on international duty with his country. The fella now has - allegedly - multiple offers from the Premier League. However at the club the guy has been phoning it in since our relegation, after arguably being our best player in the top division. I decided to check out his stats, and wasn't surprised at what I found. "Player has no significant strengths" really does sum it up. He does, however, show up in the big games, so it's possible that a step up would actually get the best out of him. I was sad about losing him until he said running down his contract was the best decision of his life - at which point it's time to say goodbye and hope he fails at his next club.




Then there's HRK's teammate - Chris Gunter. Another who, despite his club form, deserves all the plaudits his gaining with his country. But again, his form away on international duty isn't translated to the Championship. His assist for one of the most famous goals in Wales' history - Vokes' header against Belgium - doesn't hide the fact that his crossing in a Reading shirt has been woeful. Two assists in forty-four matches isn't great for a full back who seems to have a license to get forward. Especially when playing with your supposed best friend, who you had a telepathic connection with at one point, but totally lost at some point. Then there's the fact he has a £1m release clause, and the only reason I can think of to have such a price is that he wouldn't sign a contract without it. In which case I guess it's good to get some sort of fee for him. Maybe.




I'm on record as saying that selling Aaron Tshibola will be the single worst decision we make this transfer window and I absolutely stick by that. Last season we looked absolutely lost without someone playing in the anchorman role. Norwood tried, and it totally crippled his offensive capability - and considering he was our only ray of hope going forward at times last year, that's not good. Williams also doesn't fit the role. However Hector and Tshibola absolutely dominated there. Their breaking up of play made the back four look far more solid, while simultaneously starting more attacks than the rest of the team combined. Perhaps it's Clarke's pull which , but Tish's comments that he wants to leave - coming within a day of HRK's knife in the back - stings. I can't help but think that older regimes may have got more than £5m for one of our most talented prospects.

It's possible that Gravenberch and van den Berg will somewhat replace Tshibola (and other centre backs we've lost) but they're not academy graduates, they haven't been instilled with 'the Reading wayTM'. They're very much part of the new way. They, and that way, are totally untested. I'm slightly worried.

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