Academy product Dominic Samuel today signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2018.
The England youth international striker was involved in Steve Clarke's pre-season preparations before this campaign kicked off and even made two substitute appearances in the first two games of the season, but unfortunately has been ruled out of contention in recent weeks because of a knee injury. This followed a successful three month loan spell at Coventry last season, where he pilfered six goals in thirteen appearances.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: Forward <a href="https://twitter.com/DominicSamuel9">@DominicSamuel9</a> pens a new deal with the Royals until 2018. Read more: <a href="http://t.co/XO6S2K9oMJ">http://t.co/XO6S2K9oMJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/qzv1HcT5ng">https://t.co/qzv1HcT5ng</a></p>— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReadingFC/status/644915108552929280">September 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Speaking to the official club website, manager Steve Clarke said:
"Dominic thoroughly deserves his new contract and we are delighted that he will continue to develop his career here at Reading FC. He is another young player who has benefited from our use of the loan system after a very successful spell at Coventry City last season.
"Unfortunately he suffered a bad injury there but has worked diligently over the summer and enjoyed a good pre-season with my first team group where he has shown that with normal improvement he can have a very good career in the game.
"Dominic has an eye for a goal which, as everyone knows, is a priceless commodity in the game. Although he has had another medium term injury set back there will be more than enough time for Dominic to continue his good progress in the coming months."
Director of Football Nick Hammond added:
“I am very pleased for Dominic to have signed a new contract; it is important for him and important for the club as well. He had a great spell out on loan with Coventry in League 1 last year, where his goal-record was one-in-two – which is the benchmark for top strikers these days.
“It is disappointing that he picked up an injury early in this season against Colchester, when he would have hoped to be pushing for a place in the team, but those are the sorts of challenges which you have to overcome in football. Hopefully he will be through that soon and he’ll have the opportunity to kick on again and put pressure on the other strikers for a place in the team.”
Samuel has been highly rated at the club for a number of years now, with this goal against Manchester United U21s back in March 2013 an example of what he's capable of.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QOBDhLlRMDY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/ReadingFC">@ReadingFC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DominicSamuel9">@DominicSamuel9</a> great news, he's a great player. Hope he gets his chance in the first team soon.</p>— Sam (@JeanMakoun) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeanMakoun/status/644918560846954496">September 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The majority of fans will see this extension as a positive one after his successful loan spell last season and impressive moments in pre-season, though there are still doubts about his injury record.
Personally, I'm delighted. Rumours persisted over the summer that Coventry would sign him permanently and after two other promising youngsters in Gozie Ugwu and Uche Ikpeazu left the club, hopes for an academy-produced striker to break through into the team rest on his shoulders (at least until Novakovich and Cardwell graduate). It seems he has what it takes, and Clarke will be hoping so as well.
What do you think, Reading fans? Let us know in the comments below.