Reading supporters will be forgiven for blank stares when one mentions the name Andrija Novakovich to them. After all, the young American striker has only made two appearances for the Royals.
Nonetheless, Novakovich was rewarded with his first appearance for the United States National Team on Tuesday night, due to his prolific form on-loan in Holland.
The 21-year-old striker deserves a call-back to the Reading first team at the end of the season, as he could provide an answer to their scoring woes.
Novakovich was signed in June 2014, as an 18-year-old US under 20 international, but struggled to find opportunities in Berkshire.
An unsuccessful loan spell to Cheltenham Town followed in 2015/16, until the striker finally found joy at Dutch second-division side Telstar.
The American has netted an incredible 18 goals in 29 appearances this season for Telstar, a remarkable goal tally for a player of his age.
Novakovich stands at an intimidating 6 feet 4 four inches, yet has a deft finishing touch and intelligent skills; a skill set that makes the forward a handful for oppositions defences.
After spells in the Reading academy set-up, next season may finally prove the perfect time for Novakovich to break through into the Royals’ first XI.
The Royals are currently mired in 20th in the Championship, sport the division’s ninth worst scoring record, and recently parted ways with manager Jaap Staam.
This summer will surely lead to a clearing out of the squad, providing opportunities for young talents like Novakovich to emerge.
After his fruitful spell in Holland, the striker should be ready to make the transition to the Football League, and present Reading with a much-needed attacking boost.