• The released Reading striker must repeat international heroics on a consistent basis.
  • Leicester City, Watford, Southampton, Celtic and Swansea City all interested in signing free agent.
  • Robson-Kanu netted a truly superb goal during shock 3-1 quarter-final win over Belgium.

As well as eliciting truly jubilant celebrations from a raucous and almost disbelieving crowd in Lille on Friday (1 July), Hal Robson-Kanu's mesmerising second-half effort against Belgium that saw Wales deservedly overcome one of the pre-tournament favourites and book their place in a first- ever major tournament semi-final also left Reading supporters scratching their heads.

Could the architect of that sublime 'Cruyff turn' and confident finish that left defenders Thomas Meunier and Jason Denayer humiliated really be the same academy graduate who left the club after 12 years this summer having seen his career stagnate with a series of frustratingly underwhelming seasons at Championship level? Was this the work of an incredibly canny impostor, or had the Madejski Stadium boo boys' favourite scapegoat - frequently derided in the stands and across the murky depths of social media for a perceived lack of effort and impact - really just netted one of the most memorable goals in European Championship history?

Unsurprisingly, such a fairy tale evening has helped catapult Robson-Kanu into the footballing mainstream and also apparently altered the narrative of his exit from Berkshire.

Whereas his decision to run down his contract was previously viewed as the best outcome for all parties, Reading are now being subject to ridicule in some areas for failing to haul in a significant transfer fee for a player who also came off the bench to notch the winning goal in surprise Group B winners Wales' opening victory over Slovakia.

Hal Robson-Kanu
Hal Robson-Kanu is not a popular figure among Reading fans BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

"The best decision of my life," was how he described that choice after his heroics at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in slightly disrespectful comments that have done little to rescue an unsavoury reputation at his former club. In choosing to delay a decision over his future until after the Euros, the 27-year-old has effectively taken control over his destiny and almost certainly ensured lucrative interest from more high-profile suitors that before the tournament would presumably not have cast a second glance in his direction.

Hal Robson-Kanu
Hal Robson-Kanu has boosted his reputation with an impressive run at Euro 2016 PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

So where next for Robson-Kanu? If the player himself is to be believed, then he was subject to several offers from "good, progressive" clubs before Wales even left for France. A move back to the Premier League, where he scored seven goals during the Royals' latest one-year stay in 2012-13, would obviously appeal, with Wales' sole top-flight representatives Swansea City believed to be heading the queue.

Southampton and Watford have also been mentioned in connection with possible offers along with a few unnamed Bundesliga outfits, while new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers also knows "HRK" well from his time spent as youth coach, academy director and later manager at Reading. According to Sky Sports, English champions Leicester City are even believed to be in the running after celebrated head of recruitment Steve Walsh was dispatched to watch Wales twice.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers has worked with Hal Robson-Kanu in the past Getty Images

Of paramount importance for Robson-Kanu's next manager will be an ability to succeed where others have failed and harness that undeniably impressive international form at club level. As has been demonstrated so strongly this summer, Wales possess an incredibly durable team spirit under Chris Coleman and such an atmosphere of togetherness is ripe for coaxing committed performances involving individuals performing far and above their usual stations.

Also critical to any future success will be settling upon a regular position that makes the most of his talent. While he has often led the line for Wales as the ideal foil for superstar teammate Gareth Bale, he has struggled in that number nine role in the past for Reading and a lack of consistent goal-scoring nous renders him ill-suited to performing it on a weekly basis. However, it must be noted that a chronic lack of creativity and service to strikers has been a critical recurring issue for the club during their decline over recent seasons.

The left flank is where Robson-Kanu has spent much of his career to date, although his best form last term actually came on the right. He scored only five goals in total - two of which came in another run to the latter stages of the FA Cup - in 2015/16 as Reading quickly established themselves as promotion contenders under Steve Clarke before a desperate drop in form that saw them turn back to a familiar face in Brian McDermott. A dismal run of only one point from their last seven games saw the respected mastermind of their last promotion campaign ditched and replaced by a managerial novice in formidable former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam.

If his next club can devise a foolproof plan for exactly how to ensure that he can perform to a similar level for his club as he does with that proud dragon emblazoned upon his chest, then Robson-Kanu may yet prove a serviceable top-flight player. If not, then it is likely that they will endure the same sense of frustration that has plagued Reading supporters over recent years. Something tells me that his next move will say an awful lot about those clubs willing to make important recruitment decisions based on the deceptively short window of an international summer.