When it comes to raw, unfiltered talent, no-one has ever questioned the potential bubbling beneath former Liverpool man Ovie Ejaria’s surface.
It’s just performances like Saturday’s, as one of the Championship’s most enigmatic talents scored two goals Mo Salah would have been proud of during Reading’s shock 2-1 win at Fulham, are as frustrating as they are awe-inducing.
For every ‘wow’ there’s a ‘why’.
As Ejaria curled a picture-perfect shot into the top corner of Fulham’s net, doubling his tally with a silky-smooth turn and shot half an hour later, the hope will be a man snapped up from Liverpool in a deal worth £3.5 million can build on his finest performance in months.
Then again, Ejaria’s career has seen its fair share of false dawns already.
Judgement will be reserved, and rightly so, for a player once labelled “brilliant” by his former Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as he looks to prove a man of the match performance at Craven Cottage is the start of something special rather than another flash in the pan.
A sliding doors moment for former Liverpool man Ovie Ejaria at Reading?
“Ovie had an amazing performance. His execution was fantastic. We see it in training many times and we encourage him to do it more often in games,” Reading’s under-fire manager Veljko Paunovic told Berkshire Live.
“It was more difficult in this game because our game plan was asking a lot of the attacking players to work defensively, but every time we gave the ball to him, there was some excitement.
“His talent doesn’t surprise me. I see it often but we need to work out how to bring the ball to him more in the final third and the other guys because it has to be more often so we can have similar performances.”
Ejariah has scored in just two Championship games since December 2020.
If he, and Reading, are to build on a coupon-busting result at Marco Silva’s promotion favourites, the one-time Liverpool wonder kid can’t afford to rest on his laurels.