Big Decision For Harrison Reed If Fulham Excersise Option To Sign
Friday, 29th May 2020 09:35
Fulham have an important decision to make with regard to their Saints player currently on loan at Craven Cottage, Harrison Reed.
At one stage it was hoped that Harrison Reed would have a bright future at St Mary's after making his Premier League debut in the 2013/14 season under Mauricio Pochettino with 4 late appearances off the bench.
In Ronald Koeman's first season he made another 9 appearances and aged just 20 might have thought that he could force his way into the team on a more regular basis, little did he know though that be the summer of 2015 he had made 13 of his current total of 17 games in a Saints shirt in the Premier League.
In the following two seasons he would play the final 4 games and since his final 5 minute sub appearance in April 2017, he has spent the last three years out on loan and not featured in a competitive game for Saints.
Indeed in the last 5 years he has been ignored by every manager including Ronald Koeman in his second season, who gave him just 10 minutes off the bench and then Claude Puel who gave him just one start and another 2 games off the bench in the League totalling 62 minutes.
But his stock remains high with some Saints fans who feel he has something to offer, but 72 minutes football for the club in 5 seasons does not back that up and this is not a crossroads for Reed in his career.
At 25 and about to enter the final year of his contract at St Mary's he has a decision to make, one question would be why has he been out on loan for three seasons and not gone earlier, one possible answer could be money and that is where his decision now lies.
He was one of those young players who back in 2016 where signed to contracts that although perhaps not massive in relation to some players at the club were still substantially higher than they could earn elsewhere, especially in the Championship where Reed has spent the last three seasons on loan.
I don't blame the player for this, the difference in still being under contract with Saints or being on a permanent move to a Championship club would run into several million over a 3-4 year period, the question is does he cut his losses for next season and sign a long term deal elsewhere.
Fulham have the option to sign the player permanently, but as we know at Saints an option is only valid if the player is willing to sign permanently and of course if the club itself wants to sign their on loan player.
Reed spell at Fulham has not been an unqualified success, although that is as much to do with injury as anything else and just as he returned to full fitness after a calf injury that kept him out for two spells the season was suspended.
Reed will want the season to resume and he will be keen to stay at Craven Cottage until the end of it so he can show his worth.
Ironically if he plays and stars in their performances he might just end his hopes of a deal at the West London club, if they win promotion then they will perhaps prefer to look elsewhere and have the money to bring in higher quality players as they did a couple of years ago for their return to the Premier League, whereas if they are not promoted then Reed is likely to be a consideration for them.
The problem for Reed has always been his size, 20 years ago this would not have been a problem, but now in an age of athleticism, there are few players below 6ft, Reed perhaps looks smaller than he is on the field because of it.
So a big summer for Harrison Reed and I wish him well wherever he may be, in writing this article I was surprised how few games and actual minutes on the pitch he had played in the Premier League, 6 starts and 9 off the bench for a total of only 538 minutes, that is not even 6 full games in total.
In contrast in his 17 League games for Fulham this season he has almost exactly doubled that number of minutes.
I think Reed has a good career ahead of him in the Championship, if not at Fulham then elsewhere, perhaps we will not have seen the last of him in the Premier League.
This perhaps shows that there is no way back at St Mary's for Reed, his future does lie elsewhere and I hope it is a happy one and he enjoys a long career, his development has been held up by money, that is the name of the game now, with an impending refund due to be paid of TV money to the Premier League, Saints will be keen to perhaps raise a couple of million of that by the sale of Harrison Reed and a few other players.
Photo: Action Images
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