Aston Villa transfer target Michael Olise delivered a masterclass in Reading’s Championship clash against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Reports back in January suggested that the France U18 international is in the sights of Dean Smith as he looks to rejuvenate his squad with younger talent.
And on Saturday against the Owls, the £7.2m-rated Olise showed exactly why Villa must be firmly after him in the summer transfer window.
Aside from opening the scoring with a spot-kick in the first-half, the 19-year-old showed off his impressive creativity and ability to beat players with his close control and trickery.
He completed two out of the three dribbles that he attempted – the highest of any Reading player – and also provided three key passes too – again, the highest of any Royal.
The teenager also showed he could do his work defensively, making two tackles and three clearances, while he showed he’s not someone who will get easily bullied off the ball either, winning an impressive five of his six ground duels – only Reading’s left-back and holding midfielder won more.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Berkshire Live, Jonathan Low noted: “Kept his cool from the spot to give Reading the lead. A constant menace for Wednesday as he delivered plenty of teasing crosses into the box from open play. His set-pieces, although better than in previous weeks, still need improvement.”
Hailed as “super-talented” by Reading boss Veljko Paunović, the 19-year-old has already earned rave reviews for his ability, with his former manager at the Royals, Jose Gomes, adding: “Michael is really special. He can see, even before receiving the ball, more options than regular players. His technical ability and speed, decision capacity is really, really good.”
With Barkley woefully out of form in recent weeks, Olise appears to be showing just what Villa could get if they opted to make a move for the young Reading man this summer instead of completing a permanent deal for the Chelsea star.
Meanwhile, this Villa man was shocking vs Wolves…