News and Views

Plymouth Next After Win On Penalties

14 August 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading needed penalities to overcome League One Wycombe Wanderers last night in the League Cup first round. The Royals were 1-1 at full time, despite fielding a strong side, after a goalless first half, before winning 4-2 on penalties thanks to Rafael's heroics in goal. George Puscas played his first full ninety minutes after his big money signing last week from Inter Milan and scored Reading's equaliser in the second half after Wycombe had taken the lead. Reading gave starts to a group of new signings with Rafael, Adam, Pele, Ejaria, and Boye all starting alongside Puscas.

Puscas, Baldock, and Swift were all on target in the penalty shoot-out with well taken efforts before Danny Loader stepped up to seal it with an equally quality spot-kick. The players surrounded Rafael after Loader scored after the Reading goalkeeper saved two penalties and nearly saved a third in an impressive Reading debut.

The Royals will travel to League Two Plymouth Argyle in the second round of the competition.

Ovie Ejaria Returns On Loan

08 August 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have completed a season long loan signing of Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria, who returns to Reading after last season's successful loan spell. Twenty-one year old Ejaria arrived at Reading in January this year and went on to make 16 appearances and scoring one goal in Reading's 1-1 home draw with Rotherham. His return to Liverpool was brief, and he will now continue with Reading this season with the view to a permanent move at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, with the transfer window now closed, Reading fans continue to wait to find out if Danny Loader has completed his move to Wolves youth set-up. It has been reported that Loader completed a medical and the two clubs agreed a transfer fee for the up-coming England youth player. Loader has a year left on his contract at Reading but failed to extend that leading to the club being open to offers while he remains under contract. Loader would move into the Wolves Under 23 squad initially, so it remains to be seen if his agent has done him any favours.

Players Signed

  • Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool - Loan)
  • George Puscas (Inter Milan - Five year contract)
  • Pele (Monaco - Loan)
  • Rafael Cabral Barbosa (Sampdoria - Three year contract)
  • Lucas Joao (Sheffield Wednesday - Four year contract)
  • Lucas Boye (Torino - Loan)
  • Joao Virginia (Everton - Loan)
  • Michael Morrison (Released by Birmingham - Free)
  • Charlie Adam (Released by Stoke City - Free)
  • Matt Miazga (Chelsea - Loan)

Departing Players

  • David Meyler (Contract terminated)
  • Sam Smith (Cambridge - season long loan)
  • Marc McNulty (Sunderland - season long loan)
  • Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Millwall)
  • Liam Kelly (Feyenoord)
  • Joey van den Berg (NEC Nijmegen)
  • Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers)
  • Danzell Gravenberch (released)
  • Paul McShane (released)
  • John O'Shea (retired)
  • Callum Harriott (released)
  • George Legg (released)
  • Matt Miazga (end of loan)
  • Lewis Baker (end of loan)
  • Saeid Ezatolahi (end of loan)

Busy Week For Transfers At Reading

08 August 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It has been a very busy week for the Royals in the transfer market ahead of the window closing. The Royals have unexpectadly dramatically increased the depth of their squad with a series of big signings of International players. We will head into our second game of the season with a much improved squad and with plenty of options available to manager Jose Gomes as he looks to keep us clear of another relegation battle this season.

Earlier this week we signed striker Lucas Joao from Sheffield Wednesday on a four year contract, goalkeeper Rafael Cabral Barbosa who joins on a three year contract after leaving Sampdoria and Monaco's midfielder Pele on a season long loan. If that wasn't dramatic enough George Puscas has signed from Inter Milan on a five year contract and a big money transfer fee as Reading suddenly found plenty of available funds to make what can only be described as quality signings.

Lucas Joao arrives at Reading shortly after the club confirmed the arrival of forward player Lucas Boye who arrives from Tornio for the season. Lucas Joao is well known to Reading fans after scoring in injury time on Saturday during Sheffield Wednesday's opening day victory at the Madejski Stadium. Joao is a Portugal international and scored 29 goals in 128 appearances for the Owl's after signing four years ago from Portuguese side Nacional.

Goalkeeper Rafael could turn into a massively important signing for Reading after we have struggled to have a consistant goalkeeper since the departure of Ali Al Habsi. Twenty nine year old Rafael has played three times for Brazil but struggled to get into the team at Sampdoria who were willing to let him leave despite time remaining on his contract.

Monaco's Pele was at Nottingham Forest last season and has been sent out on loan again from his parent club Monaco. He appears to be another player known to Gomes, born in Portugal and playing in Portgual for Belenenses before a move to Monaco.

Yesterday's signing George Puscas feels like the icing on the cake of a successful transfer window. Twenty three year old Romanian Puscas has already collected eight caps for his country and signs on a huge five year contract in a clear indication of his potential future value.

With Puscas coming in, highly rated youngster Danny Loader now looks set to join Wolves after failing to agree a new contract with Reading.

Meanwhile Sam Smith and Marc McNulty have gone out on loan for the season and David Meyler has been confirmed as leaving the club. The lists of incoming and outgoing players have become lengthy as it's all change this season at the Madejski Stadium:

Players Signed

  • George Puscas (Inter Milan - Five year contract)
  • Pele (Monaco - Loan)
  • Rafael Cabral Barbosa (Sampdoria - Three year contract)
  • Lucas Joao (Sheffield Wednesday - Four year contract)
  • Lucas Boye (Torino - Loan)
  • Joao Virginia (Everton - Loan)
  • Michael Morrison (Released by Birmingham - Free)
  • Charlie Adam (Released by Stoke City - Free)
  • Matt Miazga (Chelsea - Loan)

Departing Players

  • David Meyler (Contract terminated)
  • Sam Smith (Cambridge - season long loan)
  • Marc McNulty (Sunderland - season long loan)
  • Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Millwall)
  • Liam Kelly (Feyenoord)
  • Joey van den Berg (NEC Nijmegen)
  • Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers)
  • Danzell Gravenberch (released)
  • Paul McShane (released)
  • John O'Shea (retired)
  • Callum Harriott (released)
  • George Legg (released)
  • Matt Miazga (end of loan)
  • Lewis Baker (end of loan)
  • Saeid Ezatolahi (end of loan)

What Reading fans can expect this season

24 July 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Following last year's narrow, three-point survival, Reading are in a difficult situation as they look to distance themselves from a relegation battle in the Championship next season.

The Royals were handed a transfer embargo by the EFL for breaking Profit and Sustainability rules. Consequently, the club will have to offload a great deal of players to balance the books, which could affect their ambition to attain a higher league position for the forthcoming campaign.

Reading have faced relegation battles in the past two seasons, and the embargo makes it difficult to move away from that predicament, but there are positives to take from the limitations put in place.

There are players at the club who are on hefty wages but are merely fringe players and outside options. Whether the Royals had an embargo placed on them or not, selling players would have been the plan, regardless. However, the emphasis must now shift towards selling fringe players as opposed to key, valuable assets, for example; David Meyler. He is someone who finds first-team football something of a rarity at Madejski Stadium and this could be an opportunity to part ways with the club, suiting both parties.

It will be a stern test for Reading manager Jose Gomes - the Championship is an extremely competitive league, and the Royals are currently third favourites to be relegated at 11/4 after the newly-promoted Charlton and Barnsley. If you fancy a bet on who will get relegated, check out bettingapps.org to get the best apps for betting on football markets.

Reading have made one signing this summer, bringing goalkeeper Joao Virginia to Berkshire on a season-long loan from Everton. However, the 19-year-old is unlikely to make an overwhelming contribution with such little experience, and being a goalkeeper, you can only make so much of an impact.

Despite the transfer embargo, Gomes expressed his frustration with the lack of signings so far following defeat to Sevilla in a friendly. He said: “It was very important for us because these games showed us we need new players.

"I'm still very happy to try to increase the level of the quality, but if we want to achieve higher targets we need to make something happen in the next few days.

"So I expect I can play some of the four games [left of pre-season] with new players, otherwise it will be difficult to fight for something that everyone wants."

The Reading boss is yet to make a permanent signing during his tenure in Berkshire and selling a large portion of fringe players would make room for signings to be made and improve the squad. It is difficult for a manager to implement his style and philosophy into a team if he does not have the correct players at his disposal.

The Royals recruitment policy has been disastrous over the years - often targeting players with excessive wage demands and hefty transfer fees - which has had a damaging affect on the club. Former CEO Ron Gourlay was mainly responsible for that, and the introduction of Nigel Howe (current CEO) is steering Reading in a different, more sustainable direction.

Keeping the heart and soul of a club alive is essential in modern football, especially with the money being passed around like hot chips. With this transfer embargo, it is a chance to bring through some raw, rich talent from the youth system - a strategy that could reconnect and repair the identity of Reading Football Club. The next few weeks are crucial to the Royals success next season, and if they can find a way of selling enough players to allow Gomes to make signings he wants to fit his philosophy and beliefs, Reading fans have every reason to go into the 2019/20 with an optimistic mindset.