Below we rate every player to have made a league start for Veljko Paunovic’s side this season as the team sit fifth in the league and look to consolidate a place in the play-offs.

In our ratings a one represents under-achievement or very poor performances, a five is meeting expectations from the player and anything near a 10 is excellent performances or massively above what was expected of the player.

Rafael - 5

 Having joined last summer, the Brazilian is the undisputed number one in RG2. After catching the eye last season he is still one of the best keepers in the league, however, bar a stunning performance against Swansea City many feel he has not played as well as he did last year.

With high-profile mistakes and costing the side points in matches such as Coventry City and Brentford, his quality is unquestionable but he is not quite hitting the high standards he set himself last time out.

Tom Holmes - 7

 Academy graduate Holmes initially made his debut in 2017 under Jaap Stam, and certainly did not look first-team ready.

However a few years, and a season on loan in Belgium, he has grown into a very capable defender.

A centre-back by trade the local lad has made the right-back spot his own since an injury to Andy Yiadom and is quickly establishing himself as the sides first-choice full-back.

Liam Moore - 8

 The club captain has had a turbulent time in Reading since joining in 2016, but has racked up over 200 appearances he is certainly one of the most significant signings for the club over the last five years.

Despite rumours every transfer window that he is set to leave, he gets his head down and wears his heart on his sleeve.

Leading by example, and hearing his bellowing instructions in the behind-closed-doors matches, this is arguably the best Moore has played since his arrival.

Michael Morrison - 8

 One of the best bits of business the football clubs have done this decade, Morrison joined on a free transfer from Birmingham City last summer and has already made over 70 appearances for the side.

Another leader at the back, his consistency and quality has surprised many considering his age and the fact that he walked away from a Championship rival for nothing.

Definitely an outside bet for Player of the Season, you know exactly what you are getting every time he crossed the white line.

Omar Richards - 9

 Arguably the most improved player in the squad, Richards has progressed from a solid left-back into one of the best left-backs in the division.

His stats going both forwards and backwards are toward the top for the league and it is no surprise that we look set to lose him, however, a move to giants Bayern Munich was a slight shock.

Disappointing to be losing the Academy product for free, but nobody can begrudge him a chance to play for the Champions League holders, should the deal materialise.

Andy Rinomhota - 8

 Another Academy star, Rinohmota is also a player that will be attracting suitors higher in the food chain. Having progressed season on season, everyone knows exactly what to expect from Rinomhota, but he still impresses with every match.

Currently deployed as more of a sitting midfielder, there is no better sight than the former Player of the Season winner stealing the ball from an opponent and charging down the pitch towards the goal.

One of four players to have featured in every league game this season so far, the former AFC Porchester midfielder is critical to the success of this side.

Josh Laurent - 8

 The best piece of business the club conducted over the summer, Laurent is proving exactly why the Royals were chasing him for the best part of a year.

The former Shrewsbury Town midfielder was initially revealed to have been a target of Mark Bowen’s this time last year but the club waited until the summer as he arrived for free.

He has been indispensable alongside Rinomhota ever since, quickly establishing himself as a real fan favourite already.

Part of the fabled ‘Box’ that Sky Sports frequently mention; consisting of Rinomhota, Laurent, Moore and Morrison, he is the heartbeat of this side.

Another contender for the Player of the Season award, Laurent is the midfielder we have been missing ever since Danny Williams left the club in 2016, the man can do everything.

Ovie Ejaria - 7

 The most eagerly anticipated signing last summer, Ejaria has quickly cemented himself in fan-folklore for his incredible ability with the ball at his feet.

Playing out wide in a three behind the main striker, the £3.5m signing is one of the most talented players the club has ever seen. His only criticism is that he fails to get the goal contributions he deserves, with two goals and six assists so far this campaign.

His quality is unquestionable, it is now his efficiency with the ball and his end product that separates him from the greats.

Michael Olise - 9

 The latest product from the Academy production-line, Olise is the jewel in Reading’s crown this season.

At 19 he already tops the charts for assists in the league with eight and brings a swagger to the side. Paunovic is trying to avoid burning him out by occasionally dropping him or giving him minutes off the bench, but a player of this ability, regardless of age, should be playing when fit.

Unfortunately, like Richards it appears that this will be our last season of watching him in a Reading shirt, so we must savour it.

Yakou Meite - 7

 Another key player in this side which cost the club nothing, Meite is the man that just keeps proving his doubters wrong.

Unorthodox in his approach, La Brute is simply unstoppable when he is in the mood. 37 goals in three seasons is serious form for a player brought in, and regularly playing, as a winger.

A firm favourite in the camp and with the supporters, he is a game-changer when fit.

Lucas Joao - 9

 If anyone deserved a 10 it would be this man, except for his knack of picking up injuries.

A big-money signing from Sheffield Wednesday in 2019, his previous best of 10 goals in a season hardly set the tongue wagging.

Little did we know at the time that we were signing a seemingly different Joao who has scored 16 goals in 18 matches in all competitions this season.

With the best minutes per goal ratio in the league, his is the key to Reading’s play-off push.

If he can stay fit for the majority of the second half of the season there is no reason why the Royals cannot be comfortably inside the top six and dreaming of promotion.

John Swift - 5

 A creative hub for Reading, he adds a new dimension to the side when he is pulling the strings in midfield.

Long-term injury has meant that he has only been able to make five appearances in the first half of the season, but with him back fit he will bring so much to this side during the final 23 matches.

Six goals and 10 assists last time out, a big miss so far this season but will be almost like a new signing when he returns to full match fitness.

Tom McIntyre - 7

 A Royal through and through, the Academy graduate has taken the chances he has been given and really gives Pauno a selection headache.

Able to play centre-back or left-back, he has hardly put a foot wrong in his four league starts, even scoring a wonderful goal against Luton Town on Boxing Day.

A fans representative on the field, he is a player the whole fanbase hopes succeeds, and he is on his way to doing just that.

Tomas Esteves - 5

 Arriving extremely highly-rated from Porto, the full-back is incredibly exciting to watch in an attacking capacity.

Defensively the 18-year-old has work to do, but that will only come with age and minutes on the pitch. Going forward he has speed and skill in abundance and there is no doubt that he has a promising career ahead of him.

18 appearances in a foreign country, in a league unlike most others, he has adapted well and appears to be improving game on game which shall stand him in good stead in the future.

George Puscas - 5

 Another expensive signing in the summer of 2019, the Romanian’s 14 goals last season was a promising start for a player with massive exception.

Unfortunately, this year injuries has halted any progress and he has made just three league starts.

Two goals is not a bad return, including a winner against Watford early in the campaign. Hopefully, with his return to fitness in the coming weeks he could have the potential to push us over the line in close contests.

Alfa Semedo - 5

 On loan from Benfica, the midfielder has often been an important utility man for Paunovic so far this season.

A holding midfielder by trade, Pauno has often pushed Semedo into attacking midfield, and even as a false nine in matches without a recognised striker.

Despite looking good for spells in matches he is yet to impress across a full match, and is certainly not a first-team starter when all injured players return to full fitness.

Sone Aluko - 5

 One of the biggest flops in recent years, but full credit as this season he has looked a totally different player. Still far from setting the world alight, his endeavour and moments of quality have caught the eye on occasion.

Two goals and one assist in eight league starts is an improvement on the player who spent half of last year on loan in China, and failed to score in the six Royals matches he appeared in during the first half of last season.

Hopefully, he keeps it up as he has shown in the past there that is definitely a player in there somewhere.

Felipe Araruna - 5

 The original back-up to Yiadom, Araruna played two league games in the absence of the Ghanaian before picking up a long-term injury himself.

The Brazilian hardly put a foot wrong and Royals fans were certainly not complaining about the prospect of him playing most matches as cover for favourite Yiadom.

However, with the form of Holmes, Araruna may now find himself third choice right- back in a fully fit squad.

Andy Yiadom - 5

 Another long-term absentee, Yiadom is a firm favourite amongst the fans and certainly the first choice in the right-back position.

Defensively sound and full of running, the former Barnet and Barnsley captain had been plagued with injures for most of 2020 and may now find himself struggling to get a start if Holmes keeps up his good form.

Lewis Gibson - 5

 Everton loanee Gibson is another who may have hoped for more minutes this season but has been limited to two league starts.

His debut was a 3-0 defeat to Stoke City in which he failed to cover himself in any glory, but credit to him as he has looked solid in the matches since. C

lose to returning from his injury, he provides good cover at left-back in case of an injury to Richards and is more than adequate in centre-half. Ultimately he is no more than cover.

Sam Baldock - 3

A true professional, Baldock leaves everything out on the pitch and never stops trying to make things happen.

Unfortunately, things just have not been happening for him, predominantly down to his inability to play as a lone striker.

16 appearances in all competitions and not a single goal tells its own story for a striker.