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Window Shopping - What Might Reading FC Do In January?

Brian McDermott's had a few games to get used to the players at his disposal but what transfer business might he do in January?

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Both Ali Al-Habsi and Jonathan Bond only arrived at the club during the summer but while both have shown flashes of ability, neither has convinced and both have been guilty of making game changing errors.

Behind them is another good crop of young keepers including Stuart Moore but none look particularly close to challenging for the gloves in the near future.

A solid goalkeeper has been the foundation of all of Reading's best teams, whether it was Shaka Hislop, Marcus Hahnemann or Adam Federici and so it wouldn't be a shock to see McDermott want to invest in a quality keeper. A loan would be ideal but given we've already got six loanees that one might be tricky. This might just be one area that has to wait until the summer.

Chances of movement: 4/10


Chris Gunter has continued to be Mr Dependable at right-back but the only question here remains his long-term future in Berkshire given that the Wales full-back is out of contract this summer. It's hard to see Reading letting him go but if a Premier League club comes in with a big bid the club might have their hand forced. Behind Gunter there really isn't a lot of depth beyond unproven Academy prospects so a steady understudy might just be an area that McDermott looks into.

At left-back we've got Jordan Obita under contract for the long-term and have seen dependable performances from Andrew Taylor. A permanent move for Taylor might be a good idea just to get the number of loanees down but otherwise with Stephen Quinn also showing he's a capable fill-in I don't see a left-back being a big priority.

Chances of movement: 6/10

Central Defence

Michael Hector's deadline day switch to Chelsea means that the club could lose him in January if Guus Hiddink wants to give Big Hec a run in the team. Anton Ferdinand has been impressive but once again been plagued by injuries however Paul McShane has been an excellent captain even if his form has slightly dipped in recent weeks.

While backup exists in Pierce Sweeney and Jake Cooper, Brian might well turn to an experienced head if Ferdinand's injury problems persist or Hector does get recalled. The last thing Reading want is to get caught out in such a key position and with both Hector and Ferdinand set to leave in the summer, January might be the time to invest in a long-term proven replacement.

Chances of movement: 5/10

Wide Midfielders

This is one area where Reading have got no shortage of options. Hal Robson-Kanu, Stephen Quinn, Garath McCleary, Lucas Piazon, Paolo Hurtado and Ola John are all seeing game time while Nick Blackman is also taking a spot out wide with Matej Vydra fit again. Throw in talented Academy wingers in Tariq Fosu and Jack Stacey and this won't be a position we're likely to see any inbound activity in.

On the other hand we could well see one or two depart, with Hurtado's Reading career looking increasingly bleak.

Chances of movement: 3/10

Central Midfielders

Danny Williams, Aaron Tshibola and Oliver Norwood rotated well throughout the early campaign but Tshibola's injury has left us a little exposed at times. Alex Fernandez has yet to really impress after joining the club on loan leaving few other clear cut options if we pick up further knocks.

You still get the feeling we need another leader in the middle and with a few murmurings around a return for Steve Sidwell, an experienced head might be on the radar just as Mikele Leigertwood was recruited back in 2010.

Chances of movement: 7/10


On paper we've got a decent set of options in Blackman, Orlando Sa, Vydra and Robson-Kanu but all four have struggled at times and none has been able to prove they deserve to be leading the line week in, week out. Dominic Samuel is one who could shake things up if they recall him from Gillingham but the defeat at Wolves showed how badly the club needs a player that's going to be able to get you goals on a regular basis.

Chances of movement: 6/10

So that's how we see it but what about you? Which position would you most like to see strengthened in January?