Building with Bridge - Adkins makes left-back his first summer signing

Ben Hoskins

The Nigel Adkins era reached another milestone today as the former Saints boss made his first Reading signing with the capture of Wayne Bridge on free transfer, with the Bridge signing a one-year contract at the Madejski Stadium. With Joseph Mills, Ian Harte, and Nicky Shorey all leaving the club a left-back was one of our main summer priorities and Adkins has wasted little time in addressing the issue.

Tommy will be along a little later today or tomorrow with a more in-depth look on the signing but personally I'm pretty happy that we've been able to add a quality left-back on a short-term deal that immediately makes us stronger.

Bridge very nearly joined the club in the January transfer window in 2012 but ended up at Sunderland after Martin O'Neill made a later offer. Still, it's nice to get him here in the end.

While we won't be getting the dynamic Southampton left-back who earned England honours in the previous decade, we will be getting a solid defender who played nearly every game for Brighton last year in a team that plays passing passing football and made the play-offs, both of which we'll be looking to do this season.

Bridge was also named in the PFA Championship team of the year, succeeding Ian Harte and while some question the total validity of the award, you can't get there by being awful.

At 32-years-old he's far from over the hill in my opinion and even if it's just one quality season before we look for a more long-term option, it's certainly a gamble worth taking, just look at what we got out of Ian Harte in the Championship.

Oh and yes he's engaged to Frankie Sandford of pop group The Saturdays so look forward to a little bit more press attention on the players' lounge this year.

Overall, good solid signing but he's perhaps not the dynamic long-term Ryan Bertrand/Nicky Shorey V1.0 signing that perhaps we also need to build for a sustainable Premier League future.

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