It looks like Leeds United are on a hunt for a new midfielder and according to reports coming from Football Insider, Reading’s young talent, Andy Rinomhota, is on their radar.
The now 22-year-old midfielder could reportedly even be on the table in January and failing that, in the summer transfer window.
Rinomhota seems like a suitable backup for Kalvin Phillips given Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t really have anyone in his squad who could fill in that position should his first-choice player be unavailable.
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Despite Phillips being considered among the best, if not the very best Championship players in his position, he will definitely need someone who can serve as a backup in the event of injury or suspension.
But who exactly is this young midfielder who’s being considered to act a relief for the Yorkshire Pirlo?
To answer that question, we sought the opinions of those who know him best…
Stam worked with Rinomhota back in 2017 while he was still coaching the Royals and he knows a thing or two about the young talent.
Of course, back then the midfielder was very much just emerging from his cocoon and Stam could already see the talent that is hidden behind him.
When Rinomhota extended his contract, the manager was over the moon, showering his player with praise in the process.
Here’s what he said in full, as quoted by Berkshire Live:
“From the start of the season when he joined us in Holland for pre-season and became part of the first team squad, Andy has made a very good impression.
“He’s a box to box midfield player with a lot of quality and ability as an individual, but he also brings a lot of energy to the team and any game he plays in, so I’m delighted we have been able to offer another one of our promising academy graduates a long-term deal at the club.”
Gooding didn’t shy away from complimenting the youngster last year when Reading drew with QPR.
Back then, Rinomhota was only breaking into his current team’s starting lineup and his presence was already starting to be felt. By that time, and despite his young age, he was shaping up to become an extremely important figure in their jigsaw.
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Gooding recognised this and was immediately raving about the youngster on BBC Radio Berkshire, as quoted by football.london:
“He’s got a bit of everything. He’s tall, strong, quick, can tackle and he can beat players.
“Since he’s come into the first team he is just getting better and better with the experience.
“It’s really refreshing and you can see he just loves playing.
“I’m sure he’s on a comfortable contract but rather than being a player who is playing to earn money you can see [he is not and] he loves playing football. He wants to play football and he’s a breath of fresh air.”
Another manager who was quickly impressed by the talent of the player in question is Reading’s former gaffer, Paul Clement.
In 2018, just after a 3-2 victory over Bristol City and with Rinomhota given his full league debut in the team, his coach was full of praise and admired the youngster’s performance.
He said, as quoted by Reading’s official webpage:
“I thought he played really well. He has had to be patient for his opportunity and he has been patient.
“Andy is a fantastic professional. Every day, he is committed to learning, improving, giving his best.
“He’s a credit to this club, our Academy, his family – I’m sure they were very proud to see him play in the win.”
By all accounts, Rinomhota looks like a true prospect and someone who could potentially ease the burden Phillips is carrying on his shoulders at the moment.
Of course, it still remains to be seen whether Bielsa gets his target or not, but it’s one to keep an eye on during the January window.