You certainly cannot question the value of Adam Le Fondre’s transfer to Reading. Since he joined the club for £300,000 in August last year, the striker has scored a total of 13 goals in 19 games. He has found the going a little tougher in the Premier League with only one foal from two starts and four substitute appearances. This is an area he will have to improve if he is going to help Reading stay safe this season.
Le Fondre is a small striker. He is never going to bully an opposition defence of the ball but he is technically a brilliant player. He is a key figure for Reading and how they want to play football in the Premier League. He can drop off from the front to come and get the ball and he is quick enough to play on the shoulder of the defence, waiting for a pass in behind from an influential player.
The problem that Le Fondre faces is that he is often going to be out muscled by defenders whenever he is asked to play on the shoulder of the defence. His conversion rate for Reading has been superb but it’s important to remember than 12 of his 13 goals from the club have come outside Premier League action. This is a challenge he needs to deal with but it’s clear the club think he’s good enough to do a job at the highest level.
“I have always had the self-belief that I can play at the highest level and I really appreciate that Reading feel the same,” Le Fondre told Sky Sports.
There is arguably not a better finisher of the ball at Reading which is vital in all of the Premier League games where half a chance can make a difference. The work rate and enthusiasm that Le Fondre can display will stand him in good stead over the course of a long season. Reading are taking a risk over whether it’s good enough for him to simply work hard and score the odd goal.
“He is a great lad, he works hard every day and he's a natural finisher. We are delighted he has made the decision to stay,” said Reading manager Brian McDermott.
It’s very important for the club that they have a striker in place who can perform and take chances under pressure and this is something Le Fondre has done throughout his career. There are going to be penalty situations in the future as well as free kick situations where a determined, in form and fit Le Fondre can make the difference and any subsequent goals he scores may make a difference by the end of the season.
If the two parties were to part ways at some point later in the season then it definitely means that Reading will get a return on their investment. It’s a little too early to tell whether he is clinically good enough to keep Reading up but all of the signs look good.
Do you think Reading can stay up?
image: © crystian cruz