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Carriço: a good move at the wrong time?

Daniel Carriço's loan to Sevilla has been confirmed, with the option of a permanent deal at the end of the season. Royal Hoops looks at why the move failed to work out quite as expected.

CRUNCHER: Carrico's single moment at Reading came in this cruncher with Gerrard
CRUNCHER: Carrico's single moment at Reading came in this cruncher with Gerrard
Warren Little

Daniel Carriço. He's a handsome fellow. He was also linked to Manchester United for £20 million a few years ago, but has since been sold to the Royals for a cut-price fee before being loaned out to cash-strapped Sevilla six months on.

Firstly, let's make it clear that this is a good move for everyone. It's a good move for us because, for starters, he said he wanted to leave. So he has. That's one unhappy player gone. It's also a good move for us because there's probably a financial reward for the club - whether that is in us paying reduced/zero wages for the season, or making a profit if the deal is made permanent.

It's a good move for him because he'll be playing closer to home, in a league that probably suits his style of play more, in one of the top Spanish teams. Even if he warms the bench, getting minutes off the bench at Sevilla is better than doing the same at Reading.

It's also a good move for Sevilla; loan deals cost less money, and the fee involved for signing him permanently is likely to be insignificant in the context of European football finances.

So, it's a good move. That's clear.

The question is, was the move to Reading a bad move? More specifically, was the move poorly timed? Was the player himself not in the right frame of mind or physical shape to perform? Was it a managerial issue, sticking with the tried and tested?

I think it's safe to rule out the managerial option. This is pretty easy to conclude given that in his six months at the club, the Portuguese defender/midfielder played under two managers with different playing philosophies. You could be forgiven for thinking that his playing style didn't fit under McDermott's wing-heavy, high tempo play, but given that he barely featured under Adkins' more smooth, passing style it's unlikely he was deemed not good enough. We could all see he had the talent during the few moments he was on the pitch; and besides, you don't move to Sevilla on loan if you're a poor player.

The move could have been poor timing. Carriço came into a side that was under-performing (despite the expectation that the club would be relegated), being fiddled with tactially and was struggling to get any form of stability. Add on to that the fact that Carriço hadn't played a match due to a contract dispute and you can see why the move was seen as a gamble at the time.

One of the biggest issues of his move, as alluded to above, was his fitness issues. Having been left out of the Sporting Lisbon team because of contractual issues, Daniel arrived at the Madejski Stadium essentially needing another pre season under his belt to get up to speed. Alas, that never really happened and by the time he was ready to play, the Royals were relegated and off on holiday.

Of course, it's not all doom and gloom. There was that one moment in the game against Liverpool. That tackle. That cruncher. Unfortunately for him, that tackle was mostly wiped from memory by Alex McCarthy's heroics in the Reading goal.

In hindsight, it was a gamble for the long term. His lack of appearances meant he was likely to feature sparingly until he was match fit. If we had somehow managed to stay up last season, Carriço would surely have been a regular member of the first team this coming season.

Yet with the relegation to the championship and his reluctance to spend time in the second tier of English football, a move was likely from the moment relegation was confirmed.

If we're honest, it's no great loss. How can a player be missed in a team after just three short appearances in a relegated side? Sure, there was potential for it to be a great move. To use an old cliche, "every transfer has an element of risk to it" - and this one was one of the riskier ones during a window that required proven, ready and able quality players to rescue the hoops from Berkshire.

Could have, would have, should have, for whatever reason we will now see Carriço turning out for Los Palanganas in Spain, and likely to see him move on permanently after a mere three appearances for the Royals.

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