Adrian Mariappa joined Reading in July 2012 from Watford for an undisclosed fee that was believed to be around £2m. More information on his time at Watford and reaction to his arrival can been seen in this piece written last summer.
Despite his relatively small size he proved to be a decent centre back in the Premier League and was one of the few players to come out of that disappointing season with his reputation enhanced. He didn’t settle into the side immediately with Brian McDermott initially opting for Kaspers Gorkss and Alex Pearce at the back but after his league debut against Newcastle he cemented his place in the team.
It’s tough to really judge Mariappa all that much because he had such a brief time at the Madejski and all of that was with spent in a poor side getting kickings most weeks in the top flight. What we did see was an assured defender who was comfortable on the ball and reminded me a little of Ivar Ingimarsson in that he didn't have much physical presence but his positioning and awareness allowed him to be in the right place at the right time.
For whatever reasons Nigel Adkins never appeared to be a fan of the Jamaican international, something that always surprised me, and he was dropped for the last game of the season in favour of Gorkss, who had just returned from helping to relegate Wolves. The rumour mill suggested that Mariappa saw himself as a top flight player and once Reading’s relegation was confirmed he showed little interest in endearing himself to his new manager and instead angled for a move.
Crystal Palace have been very busy over the summer and from their point of view the signing makes sense. Mariappa has now had two seasons in the Premier League (although he’s been relegated both times) and for a reported fee of £3m it’s not an expensive gamble for them. From Reading’s point of view it is a bit trickier; they’ve off loaded a player for a small profit, who was clearly unsettled but it does leave a pretty big gap in the squad. Not only that but because the deal was made on deadline day the options available to fill it are immediately limited to loanees or free agents.