Now that Shane Long is no longer a Reading Player and the club having received good money for him, this is the time to reinvest in the squad. Most Reading Fans accepted that the £5.5 million pounds from the sale of former captain Matthew Mills would have to go and cover the cost of running the club, but with another estimated £6.5 Million pounds swelling the coughers at the Madjeski Stadium, Reading fans will hope that some of that money will go to help Brain McDermott to boost the depth of his squad.
It is the forth summer running that the club has sold a player for £5 million plus, Dave Kitson was the first to go in 2008 to Stoke City after Reading where relegated from the Premier League. The Money from that sale was used to cover the clubs losses from losing its place in the premier league and it seemed to be a trend that repeated itself over the next couple of years as the money from the sale of Kevin Doyle to Wolves, all £6.5 million of it went to cover the loss of not bouncing back straight away to the premier league. With the money not being reinvested in the side, the club struggled for the first part of the following season and this is a lesson which needs to be learnt this time round. From those struggles though came a exciting young Icelander called Gylfi Sigurdsson, who came through the clubs academy, he was to prove to be the catalyst for the turnaround in Reading's fortunes on the pitch that season as they shoot up the table to finish tenth and when he was sold for £7 million pound on transfer deadline day last season to German club Hoffenhiem, the club told us that money would be used to cover the lose of parchutte payments from the premier league. It has been made clear by the club that the £5.5 million received for Mills has gone to cover running costs, it is clear that the club has to reinvest some of the money it has got for Shane Long.
There are two needs a new striker and a new centre half. You cannot expect to challenge for the playoff places in the championship with just Three recognised centre half’s and Strikers because that just will not happen, as most football fans will know over a 46 game seasons injuries occur and squads become stretched, which I could see becoming a problem If the board don't allow Hammond and McDermott bring in replacements for the departed Mills and Long. I realise that you are not going to find direct replacements for both Mills and Long, but if the club stick true to what the transfer policy has been over the past few seasons of signing youngish players to develop into players that they can sell on in the future I think most Reading fans will be happy with that.
The one aspect of any player that Reading do sign in the next three weeks that will be important will be character. It is something that the club has got right, in the most part anyone remember the Greg Halford signing?! However the one down side is that it is something that takes time to identify and it is time that Reading does not have right now. Reading Fan's will hope that Nicky Hammond and his scouts having been working hard to identify suitable replacements that will fit in to the current squad of players. Agreeing a fee for these replacements will not be easy as now the season is underway it is more than likely that clubs will drive up the price of any target that Reading have in mind, as any selling club will need time to themselves to find replacements.
If no new signings don't end up coming through the door, it could be up to the clubs academy yet again to fill the gap. You just have to look at the amount of current first team players that have come through the academy of late to see that it is producing players of Championship quality at present. And it would appear that the academy will be baring fruit again soon, was the likes of Jake Taylor, Jordan Obita, Lawson D'Ath, Jack Mills et al all looking to be pushing for a first team spot this season. However, it is more realistic that these players will be loaned out to other clubs in order for them to gain first team experience, as Jake Taylor has already joined Aldershot Town on a months loan.
So I and my fellow Reading fans hope to see new signings come through the doors at the Madjeski Stadium in the next three weeks to help Brian Mcdermott's team go one better than last season.