Former Reading man, Lawrie Sanchez, has advised Michael Olise to stay with the Royals for at least another year as links to Arsenal, Chelsea and a host of others start to swirl.

Michael Olise of Reading ActionPlus John Patrick Fletcher
Michael Olise of Reading ActionPlus John Patrick Fletcher

Arsenal were linked with a move for Reading’s EA Sports Young Player of the Season, Michael Olise, at the end of the 2020 summer window when a £5m bid for the midfielder was turned down. At that point, there were three clubs said to be interested, two of which made a £5m bid. It was never clarified if one of those sides was Arsenal or not.

Now, with the window open again, and the 19-year-old seemingly coming with an £8m release clause in his contract, Arsenal are again being mentioned as having an interest.

With seven goals and 12 assists in 46 games for Reading last season, Olise was named the EA Sports Young Player of the Season in the EFL, and in the Championship Team of the Season, so it’s not surprising that a host of clubs are having a look at a player who has been compared to Paul Merson.

Clubs mentioned so far include Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Leeds, Lille and Bayern Munich.

Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Lawrie Sanchez, who played 261 times for Reading, as well as managing Northern Ireland, Fulham and Barnet, has urged the youngster to delay any move to a top Premier League side, lest he suffer the fate of Wilfried Zaha. Zaha signed for Manchester United in 2013 when he was 20 but made only four appearances for them before being loaned out to Cardiff City, and then sold back to Palace for £3.42m in 2015.

“I read somewhere there’s an £8 million release clause – I’m sure clubs will offer that this year for him I’ve no doubt,” said Sanchez.

“For me another year at Reading wouldn’t do him any harm – they almost got into the play-offs this year and it helped him develop and another year’s development isn’t a bad thing.”

Olise mainly plays as an attacking midfielder but can play a little further back or on the right of midfield.

He is currently under contract until 2023 and arrived at Reading’s Academy in 2015, when he moved from Chelsea, in the same window Arsenal picked up Eddie Nketiah from Stamford Bridge.

Olise is also a French Youth international with two caps at u18 level.