Tag Archives: Scouting Report

Reading’s Nick Blackman: ‘We’re Not Getting Complacent’

Nick Blackman

Midfielder turned forward Nick Blackman has rocketed his Reading side up to a play-off spot in the Sky Bet Championship, jumping over Middlesbrough, Hull City and Burnley.

Reading boss, Steve Clarke has looked like a genius after moving Blackman from the winger/midfield role up in front to striker. Since then, Blackman has scored ten goals in the league and eleven overall in just thirteen starts. Reading has six wins in the past eight (including their most recent 1-1 draw against Rotherham on Tuesday night, which Blackman also scored in) and Blackman has the Royals hoping to achieve their ultimate goal of promotion into the Premier League.

The 25-year-old was quick to let everyone know that no one is becoming comfortable this early in the season: “Everyone is working really hard on the training ground. We’re not getting complacent – we’re just going about our business and taking each game as it comes, everyone is enjoying playing with everyone, and you can see the quality of some of the link-up play we have got when we go forward. It’s frightening sometimes.”

Most clubs throughout the Championship will be scared about Reading’s forward progress up the pitch mostly due to the form Blackman has been in. During Tuesday night’s match against Rotherham, Blackman returned to an attacking midfield role, contributing to Reading’s 54% possession time along with fellow midfielders Oliver Norwood, Garath McCleary, Lucas Piazon, and Daniel Williams.

Blackman scored a rocket in the top shelf outside of the box and buried it past the Rotherham goalkeeper. The goal was assisted by Oliver Norwood. The draw to Rotherham put the Royals at third place behind a massive three points for Birmingham, and their win over Bolton Wanderers. The Englishman is in the middle of extending his contract with Reading and many supporters are urging the side to get the deal done. However, Blackman’s form has not been disregarded by other clubs. Whether Blackman chooses to stay at Reading or not has yet to be seen, but at this point in this season Blackman would be expected to stay put and wait for a bigger club to come calling after he gets Reading back to the Premiership in May.

Scout Report – Who Is This Turkish Youngster Tracked By Arsenal?

The number of brilliant German youngsters in the Bundesliga just does not seem to stop. The investment the league has put with regards to youth development seems to be paying off with another massive talent being linked with a move to the Premier League. Bayer Leverkusen star midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu is being tracked for a move to Arsenal.

The midfielder has enjoyed a couple of brilliant seasons, first with Hamburg and now this season with Leverkusen and while he may be only 21 years old, he has a lot about his game. We take a little closer look at the Turkish midfielder and what his game is all about.

Who is he?

Hakan started his career with Karlsruher before signing with the German powerhouse Hamburg; he stayed with the club for 2 years as he helped them avoid relegation last season. He then signed up with Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen this season and has been exceptional for them.

He has already scored 10 goals for the club and he looks set to break his Bundesliga record of 12 goals in a season, he achieved that feat when he was playing for Hamburg last season.

He mostly plays in the midfielder role but is known for playing in an attacking role. He can play as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder or a secondary striker, so versatility is a big plus for the 21 year old.

Hakan has a brilliant first touch, something which helps his game since he always is looking to provide that killer through ball. Hakan is known for finding the forwards and making important passes. A key to his game, apart from his touch is his vision and that is something which has grown ever since his stints in the lower leagues.

Another of his plus points is dead ball delivery, in fact he scores a lot of goals from free kicks and already has a couple of scorchers to his name. That is something which would be useful for any club.

Although there are a few issues with his game, he is not the strongest player in the world and gets bullied off the ball rather easily, so he does need to work up on his physicality. The other issue is that he does not provide enough help defensively, that is something which would be expected out of any player in the Premier League.

The last problem with his game is that he does not make enough forward runs. He might be able to pass the ball to his team mates but if he makes a few more telling runs, he could become a bigger threat and also score a lot of goals as well.