Date: 6th September 2017 at 2:06pm
Written by:

The international break is now over, so it’s now time to focus on proper football again. We look at the main talking points ahead of welcoming Bristol City on Saturday.


Does Aluko come straight into the team? – After reportedly becoming our record signing, Stam will now make the call whether to play him from the off, despite Barrow being in very good form. However, if Stam decides to revert back to a 4-3-3, there is room for Barrow and Aluko, which is a frightening prospect for opposition teams. Aluko has been played the majority of the season and only missed Fulham’s last game down to the ongoing transfer speculation. I would hedge my bets he will be straight in from the start.

Stam’s midfield dilemma – With Dave Edwards now adding to our central midfield options, it makes Stam’s job to choose a starting three a bit harder – a good issue to have though. You would imagine that Bacuna and Kelly are certain starters, but that last defensive slot could be taken up by four potential options – Edwards, van den Berg, Evans and Quinny. Based on his performance at Birmingham, I would go for Joey, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edwards get the nod.

Jon Dadi’s chance to shine and prove his point – Following on from a successful international break away with Iceland, where he starred in a 2-0 victory over Ukraine, our summer signing will want to kick on after opening his Royals account last time out at Birmingham.A lot was made of the fact we didn`t sign another striker in the transfer window, but with Yann close to a return and Jon Dadi showing good signs, we may be alright. I imagine Jon Dadi will be a guaranteed starter in the next month, so this will be his chance to shine and prove a point to the fans he can be the main man.

With people coming back from injury, Stam will have a job on his hands keeping everyone happy – You can`t deny that it was a very good transfer window, but it`s fair to say our squad is now potentially overcrowded. Including the current injuries to Harriott, Swift, Kermorgant and Watson, we currently have 26 senior players on our books – that means 8 will miss out on a match day squad and therefore 8 frustrated players. With the loan window no longer available, it means Stam may have a job on his hands to keep everyone happy until January, where I expect a minor clear out. Still, it`s a good dilemma for Stam to have and I`m sure he`ll deal with it.