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Ben Elliott: Reading's rising star is lacking game time

Since joining Reading in the summer midfielder Ben Elliott has found it difficult to break into the starting eleven, often losing out to Femi Azeez and Harvey Knibbs. He has often been limited to cameos off the bench and starts in domestic cups, only getting 548 minutes all season.

In the only 90 minutes Elliott has played for Reading, he provided a goal and an assist in a 9-0 victory over Exeter City in the EFL Trophy.

Elliott joined Reading from Chelsea on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal – as part of the deal it is expected the London club will have a large sell-on fee if he were to leave Reading.

In his academy days, Elliott linked up with Jayden Wareham who also joined Reading this summer. However, Wareham has spent most of his time since joining in the U21 side.

Having been at Chelsea since he was eight years old, Elliott grew up surrounded by star-studded talent, he played alongside the likes of Lewis Hall, Tino Livramento, and Jamal Musiala. Due to Musiala’s talent playing in the more advanced midfield roles often meant Elliott dropped back into more of an ‘8’ role.

He has featured in both roles so far in his Reading career, fitting into Ruben Selles' 4-2-2-2 formation. When Reading are chasing games, Elliott will slot into the deeper of the two midfield roles, often playing beside a more conventional defensive midfielder. But more often than not, Elliott will come on in one of the more advanced midfield roles, as a ‘wide attacking midfielder’ replacing Azeez or Knibbs.

*stats not up to date, post was made on October 13th

Elliott’s comfort on the ball makes him perfect for any midfield, often able to pick the ball up on the half-turn and easily manoeuvre between opposing defenders. Confident in tight areas, Ben possesses ability like few other Reading players, on the ball his decision-making is composed and often unselfish looking to combine with others or break down the defensive line.

As well as this, Elliott looks comfortable on both feet not only to pass but also to shoot. The midfielder had a strong shot from the edge of the area saved in the last league game against Portsmouth.

Despite rising through the ranks of England’s youth team, Ben Elliott decided to represent Cameroon at senior level. He played for the Three Lions at U15 and U16 level, in squads which featured current teammates Coniah Boyce-Clarke and Jeriel Dorsett, as well as recent Kopa Trophy winner Jude Bellingham.

Ultimately, Elliott qualified to play for Cameroon through his father and was called up to the senior squad earlier this year. Eventually, making his debut in a friendly match against Mexico coming on as a substitute for Bryan Mbuemo.

Reading have got themselves a great deal by picking up the Cameroon international on a free transfer. Not too long ago, Southampton, Brentford and Lorient were looking to get their hands on Elliott with the latter reportedly prepared to pay £4 million.

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