Welsh international Hal Robson-Kanu has never been a heavyweight name in European football.
Not until Euro 2016 at least when he used his empowering performances to grab headlines and divert plenty of attention to his football qualities and abilities.
At 27 years of age, the Wales forward is standing at the crossroad of his career with his contract with Reading expired and plenty of clubs lined up to acquire his services.
Robson-Kanu is displaying great composure and patience once again off the football pitch as he is bidding time before making the final decision on his future.
Hal Robson-Kanu started his football career at Arsenal where he was released at the age of 15. The Welshman then joined Reading in 2004 having spent next three years educating himself at the club’s Academy.
A year after he was promoted to Reading’s first-team Robson-Kanu was loaned out to Southend United and to Swindon Town the very next year before returning to Reading and making his debut at the senior level in 2009.
During nine years at the club, Robson-Kanu amassed almost 200 league appearances for Reading. He added 24 goals during his tenure which saw it highlight in 2011-12 during Reading’s Championship winning campaign.
Having tasted the Premier League football four years ago, Welsh forward is keen to return to the main stage with a bang following an impressive international summer.
Impressive Euro 2016 Campaign
Hal Robson-Kanu first played for England before switching to Wales in 2010 when he chose to represent the country of his grandmother. He was promoted to the senior squad straight from the Under 21s in 2010 and has so far managed 34 caps with 4 goals on his tally.
Single most important goal of his international career so far has been scored this summer in France where Wales reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 2016. One of the two goals in total he scored to contribute to the Welsh cause in France came in a high-profile clash with Belgium, when Robson-Kanu scored a brilliant winner.
Bringing the ball down in the area, Robson-Kanu displayed great awareness inside the Belgium box to skin three defenders in a Cruyff-like turn before slotting home past Thibaut Courtios.
The goal against Belgium made Robson-Kanu a cult hero in his homeland at the same time earning the plaudits for his determination, selflessness and commitment.
Summer of Big Decisions
Hal Robson-Kanu decided to take his time on making what is likely to be the most important decision in his career.
Middlesbrough, Burnley, Swansea and Watford have all been monitoring the Wales Euro 2016 hero with West Ham being the last in line of the Premier League clubs keen to add this 27-year-old striker on their books.
Slaven Bilic is having plenty of problems upfront as his summer signing Andre Ayew picked up an injury that will be a huge blow to Hammers’ early ambitions in the Premier League. Therefore the Croatian manager is looking for a swift solution and Hal Robson-Kanu has emerged as a possible target.
The player himself will not be swayed by how big the suitors may be, the 27-year-old want to go where he is wanted. What is more, Robson-Kanu is prepared to wait until the deadline day before securing his move.
D-Day Coming Up
According to Robson-Kanu’s agent Hasan Anil Eken, Wales striker is likely to wait until the very end as he is keep to join the club he can feel important with. Eken also confirmed that Hal Robson-Kanu has numerous offers from different countries and that his protégée is eager to raise the bar and join a good project.
Patience is the key for the Welsh international, but it can also be a damaging factor in a way.
Having missed most of the preseason due to his international duties and the fact he had no club to train and get familiar with, Hal could take a little bit more time to gel in his new surroundings.
For those who are prepared to wait for him though, Hal Robson-Kanu will be a great signing though.
A versatile forward equally apt to play a wider role, Robson-Kanu brings confidence, composure and physical abilities that add strength and stamina in front of anyone’s goal.
Where next for Hal Robson-Kanu?