Reading sign Stephen Kelly

Jan Kruger

Brian promised us business in this transfer window and so far he's lived up to his word, with Republic of Ireland international full-back Stephen Kelly becoming the third man to join the club in the first two weeks of January.

Kelly certainly fits the ' experienced Premier League player' mould that McDermott had publicly said he was after, having appeared in well over 100 top flight games for Tottenham, Birmingham and Fulham.

Though he can do a job across the back four, he's primarily a right-back and with that in mind, both Shaun Cummings and Chris Gunter will be disappointed with this move. While neither had shown themselves to particularly excel at the top level, Gunter especially will be miffed to have been replaced less than six months after a big money move. I'd expect one of the two to depart on loan, with Cummings possibly the more likely.

In terms of what we can expect from our new full-back, expect solid rather than spectacular. He's never been particularly prolific in an attacking sense, with two goals in his career and only one recorded assist according to the official Premier League site.

What he will bring is a steady influence at the back, who can help marshal an inexperienced back line that has generally struggled this season. Other than Ian Harte and Nicky Shorey, the rest of our defence has been lacking in top level experience, and another player who knows the ins and outs of the league on the right hand side, can't help but to steady the ship.

Of course it's not the marque signing that many Reading fans have been hoping for. I can't pretend that this deal fills me with excitement but sometimes it's the less fashionable signings that can make all of the difference. Just remember how Andy Griffin helped steady us during Brian's debut season, or how the introduction of one Greame Murty at right back helped Alan Pardew's side improve.

Transfer fee wise I can't see this costing us that much, while I also can't see the club giving a 29 year old too much in wages either, so there's limited risk finance wise. He's also a player that could easily do a job at Championship level, so he's got more value than five months.

Otherwise there's not much to say, I think he'll probably earn a debut against Sheffield United in the cup, though if Gunter has a mare against West Brom he might even get thrown in up at Newcastle. I personally hope that this isn't the end of Gunter's time here as he does have potential, but perhaps like Cummings, he needs a good period out of the limelight and come back a better player.

So sadly this isn't an Arshavin, Huddlestone or Welbeck but it could be another little cog in Brian McDermott's survival master plan.

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