Reading’s striker issues are a topic that have being looked at throughout the last couple of seasons as the club have failed to find a reliable goalscorer since the departure of Adam Le Fondre. However, with the news of an apparent Chinese takeover bid injecting a new cash-flow into the club – it appears that the Royals may finally have the funds to compete with other clubs for the biggest stars in the league; namely Brentford’s Scott Hogan, with GetReading reporting the club’s alleged interest.
Many Reading fans would have laughed off the possibility of the club bidding £9m for a player, especially considering the club’s record transfer fee is still £2.5 million for Emerse Fae back in 2006. Fae himself was injury-prone and the club have never invested big money into one player since. The Berkshire outfit have always had to do things on the cheap and it has become something of point of pride with the club’s current success under Jaap Stam.
However, if the wealth of the new Chinese investors is to be believed – it would be a fantastic way for them to endear themselves to the Reading faithful who are rightly skeptical of any new owners following the near administration under Anton Zingarevich’s ownership.
Scott Hogan has taken the Championship by storm since signing for Brentford from Rochdale. The 24-year-old forward started his career in non-league and played for the same team as Jamie Vardy – Stocksbridge Park Steels. Although, the two never played together. It is becoming a familiar trend for English strikers to be let go from their youth sides and working their way up into the higher reaches of the game. The likes of Vardy, Charlie Austin, Dwight Gayle and now Hogan has become one of the latest to make the breakthrough.
Reading will certainly face tough competition if they are to sign Scott Hogan as he is certainly a man in demand. Any number of clubs would love to have a player capable of finding the net as frequently as the Brentford man. Brentford boss Dean Smith will no doubt he keen to keep Hogan as a member of his squad but the forward has made it clear that he wants to play in the Premier League – with the Bees sat 14th in the league it may appear that a transfer would be the quickest route for Hogan.
Reading are currently suffering from some striker problems and while results are continuing to roll in the Jaap Stam’s men, a new star striker would really help them mount a push for the automatic promotion places. A quick look at the Royals squad will show the need for a new forward. The club only has four recognised senior strikers – they are Yann Kermorgant who while a talented player is reaching the twilight of his career and is perhaps not seen as a long-term solution for the club. Dominic Samuel and Joseph Mendes are both speedy young forwards but it will take time for them to both come up to speed with the Championship. The final forward in Deniss Rakels who has spent a great deal of the season injured and no return date is currently in sight for the Latvian international.
Hogan could prove to be a perfect fit for the Royals as his ability to score on either foot and with his head will ensure that the likes of Swift and McCleary will have no problem providing opportunities for the forward. Hogan would likely be the striker in a front there should he sign for the Royals. The speed and aerial ability of the forward will mean that he would be a perfect middle ground between current strikers Yann Kermorgant and Dominic Samuel.
It may still seem like a pipe-dream for Reading fans to see their club splash £9 million on a new star striker but if the potential new Chinese ownership bid is to be believed, then that sort of money could definitely be the hands of the Royals very soon. It will be no easy task to persuade Scott Hogan to sign for the Berkshire outfit, particularly if the club faces competition from any Premier League sides, who will certainly be aware of the Brentford man’s goalscoring form. It remains to be seen as to what will happen in January but the club have made it no secret that they will be chasing a new striker to step in and further to Royals’ promotion push.