Reading and Rogic an imperfect combination
Tom Rogic moving to Reading would gain him EPL experience, but in the long-term a move to the struggling club could potentially be a disaster.
Tom Rogic is an extremely talented footballer, of that there is no doubt. There is also zero doubt that a large transfer fee from Reading would be a great deal for the cash-strapped Central Coast Mariners. But is a move to Reading really good for Tomas Rogic, emerging Socceroo?
If you are to believe News Limited reports Rogic to the Madejski Stadium, from the Mariners end at least, is a done deal, with only Rogic and his inner circle undecided on the move and whether it is good for his career.
It-s something they are wise to consider and should think long and hard about.
Of course a move to the EPL would be huge for any player, but Reading is not just a move to an EPL club.
It-s a move to a club who in all likelihood are moving back to the more “agricultural” style of the Championship next season.
Reports suggest that to clear any visa issues, Rogic will have be thrown straight into Reading-s relegation melee, rather than getting time in the reserves to acclimatise.
Reading have delusions of Premier League grandeur, but they can-t back them up and with just two wins in 21 matches and joint bottom of the table, they are a prime relegation candidates.
Tom Rogic, as talented as he is, will in all not change that situation. It-s not to say Rogic isn-t a good footballer but he-s still learning his craft and being pitched into the throes of a relegation battle hardly seems the ideal development pathway.
What would help him more would be a move to a top-tier side in a country with a more technical focus; Italy, Spain even Germany where former A-League stars Mitch Langerak, Robbie Kruse and Mustafa Amini are plying their trade would likely suit Rogic-s style of play better.
Plus he is still learning the game. Anyone who has watched the Mariners will tell you that while Rogic is clearly amongst their best, he is far from the finished article - and I-m not just talking about the match against Sydney FC where he was out-of-sorts before getting sent off.
Like many youngsters with pace and great ball skills, Rogic can beat defenders but he can make the mistake of taking on one too many and his finishing is often lacking - does that sound like a relegation battler?
If he goes to Reading the pressure to perform will be immense and if he doesn-t live up to expectations he could quickly find himself on the outer with fans and the manager of the club, he certainly wouldn-t be the first to fall to that fate.
And then what happens? How does he respond? Does his confidence get shattered?
It-s all food for thought for Rogic; the decision is his but it might be wise if he waits a little longer to make a move to Europe, because Reading-s current situation and future are both far from ideal.
If he was going to any other side - with the exception of Wigan - I would be all for the move. If the move was even in one year-s time, with Rogic growing even more as a footballer, I wouldn-t question it.
But so many times in football, making the right move comes down to timing. For such a talented midfielder, it would be painfully ironic for Rogic to get his timing wrong now.
And that-s not to say there isn-t an upside; playing on the biggest stage football has to offer would be great exposure, taking on the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United would be huge, and if he impresses there, well the sky-s the limit.
It-s just that if he doesn-t, if he isn-t ready - well, then a move to Reading could do much more harm than good.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not Football Federation Australia or the Hyundai A-League.