By WG2K (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you believe “Get Reading”, it seems a deal to buy Reading’s 21-year-old midfielder Aaron Tshibola is pretty much in the bag.
This is the lad who Jaap Stam talked about recently, as one who shouldn’t be sold. Of course, that’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect a manager to say if he’s trying to inflate the price, but his thoughts seem to be backed up by the Reading fans who think he’s
the best thing since sliced bread the best to come out of the club’s academy since Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Which is all well and good.
Until I look at the kid’s record, which says he’s only made a total of 17 appearances for Reading.
Ok, he made 23 appearances for Hartlepool whilst on loan, but that’s League 2, which isn’t quite the same level.
So, all in all, this seems a pretty big gamble doesn’t it? as while £5 million isn’t a lot of money by Villa’s usual levels, it is a lot of money for such an unproven player, who might just be a bit injury-prone (from the odd comment I’ve seen written).
Not that the latter point is so important at such a young age. Delph (hiss!) had his share of injuries, but he went on to do ok for us, after all, didn’t he?
And while I don’t know what sort of midfielder Tshibola is, if he’s as up for it and as combative as Delph was, he’ll do for me.
It seems this particular transfer was very much led by Steve Clarke, our assistant manager, who actually blooded the player when he was Reading manager. Which is good news, as he’ll obviously know about his ability and perhaps more importantly, his attitude, which surely must be good.
Of course, whether this proves to be a good deal or not will only be determined by how he performs for us.
If he turns out to be poor, it’ll be looked back on as a stupid gamble.
But while fans always tend to over-hype players who have come through the academy in the early days, I like the comment where one of Reading’s fans predicted he’ll play for a top premier league club at some stage.
So I’m happy to see this as what could be a very astute signing.
Then again, why am I reminded of Gary Gardner?