TEENNAGE striker Danny Loader is pushing for a place in the Reading FC first-team.

The 17-year-old has been in sensational form for Royals Under 23s and netted the winning penalty in a 2-1 victory over Brighton on Monday.

And the Under 17 World Cup winner with England continues to catch the eye of Royals’ boss Jaap Stam.

Loader made his club debut from the bench in a Carabao Cup win over Millwall last August, but it remains his only first-team appearance to date.

“He’s a very, very promising player, everybody knows that,” said Stam.

“When the opportunity is there he trains with us (first team). You can see he’s a killer around the box and his finishing is very clinical.

“It’s very tempting to take him into the first team but we need to be very careful how he feels.

“We need to take care of these youngsters but if he keeps on playing how he is then he’s going to be very close to the first-team squad and maybe onto the pitch.”

Loader’s chances of seeing more first-team action could rest on the outcome of the January transfer window.

Stam is hoping to sign ‘two or three’ players including a striker in a bid to pull away from the Championship relegation zone.

Reading Chronicle:

Chris Martin is being linked with a move to Reading FC. Picture: Adam Davey/PA Wire.

Derby County’s Chris Martin and Barnsley’s Tom Bradshaw have been linked with the Royals, while Stam confirmed his interest in Southampton full-back Sam McQueen at yesterday’s press conference.

But Stam also revealed Reading may be forced to sell players to raise transfer funds following strong interest in centre-back Liam Moore.

“If we want to do more (in the transfer window) then we might think about selling players,” he said.

“We haven’t got a large amounts of money lying there, but if we can do something it needs to be a player who can make a difference.”

Reading return to Championship action this Saturday with a trip to fellow strugglers Hull City (3pm).

Liam Moore - who has been linked with West Ham, West Brom and Celtic -  is expected to return in defence after missing last weekend's FA Cup stalemate at Stevenage with a slight knee problem.

Royals have lost four of their last five Championship fixtures and have slipped to 18th in the table.

Hull are 21st in the table and have the joint-worst defensive record in the division.

Former Reading defender Michael Hector is likely to start for the Tigers, now managed by ex-Royals boss Nigel Adkins.

Paul McShane and Vito Mannone, who both enjoyed spells with Hull in the past, will be in the Reading starting line-up.