Soccer

Liverpool consider plucking ‘Jack Grealish-type star’ from the Championship

Liverpool: The remaining Premier League fixtures

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Liverpool are one of several Premier League clubs in the frame to sign Reading playmaker Michael Olise ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports. The 19-year-old has thrived in the Championship with the Royals this season, chipping in with five goals and ten assists in 37 appearances to keep the Berkshire club in the race for a play-off spot.

Only Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia has provided more assists in the second-tier this season than Olise, who is widely considered to be one the best young players that the EFL has to offer.

Liverpool have been tipped to make approaches for a number of creative players in recent months, with Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish a notable link.

The England star has established himself as a top-class operator since Villa’s promotion back in 2019, and it seems as though Olise could be set to follow in his footsteps regardless of whether or not Reading manage to seal a place in next season’s Premier League.

The Reds, along with Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, have been keeping tabs on the youngster with a keen interest, according to Eurosport.

RB Leipzig, Napoli and Monaco are also said to be watching the midfielder who has already drawn comparisons with the likes of Grealish for his dangerously potent style of play.

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Olise is usually deployed in the No 10 role but is able to drift wide in order to free up space for his team-mates to attack, helping the Royals to average 1.3 goals per game.

He is under contract until the end of next season but the report claims that a summer move is the most likely scenario in terms of his immediate future.

The London-born Frenchman passed through the academy setups at Chelsea and City before joining Reading in 2015 on a free transfer.

He impressed at youth level and was eventually handed his first-team debut by former boss Jose Gomes as a 17-year-old in 2019.

The versatile midfielder has since racked up 66 professional appearances for the club after becoming a regular member of the side last season.

It has been claimed by The Athletic that Olise has a modest release clause of just £8million written into his current deal, which could be worth every penny for Liverpool if they decide to act on their interest in the summer months.

With Grealish valued at around £100m by Villa, the Reds could be getting a similar type of player with age on his side and a hunger to prove himself at the highest levels of the game for a fraction of the price.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic revealed in December that he is a huge admirer of Olise, but stressed that he needs to keep his feet firmly on the ground in order to make the most of his formidable potential.

“We acknowledge Michael’s talent but he also has to keep learning,” Paunovic told reporters after his side’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

“He still needs to grow. He still has things that he can implement in the future and be an even better player.

“This is why I encourage him not to get content with what he is right now but to go on and show what he can be. We all see huge potential in him.

“It’s not good for him to think that he has done it, he must stay humble and focused.”

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