After recent speculation linking Joey Van den Berg with a move to Reading, the Royals finally have their man. The ex-Heerenveen midfielder, who was available on a free having left the Dutch club this summer, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
At 30 years of age, Van den Berg is an experienced player who should add a lot to the squad. Plus, his experience in the Netherlands should help him fit in well with Jaap Stam's renovation of the squad.
Speaking about Van den Berg as a player, Jaap Stam said that...
"He is a left-footed midfielder but he is also capable of playing in defence as a centre- back or at left-back, as well as anywhere in the midfield."
And this on what Stam thinks Van den Berg brings to the squad...
"The reasons I wanted to bring him to Reading were that is physically strong enough for the Championship, and he has character in the sense that he has a winner's mentality.
Joey tries to get the most from his teammates and he is technically very strong. He reads the play well, he has a lot of stamina - he has a lot of the right attributes to do well in this league."
Looking at that, it's clear that Stam sees Van den Berg as an experienced leader on the pitch. It's all well and good bringing young talent into the squad, but if you don't have anyone to keep them in shape, you won't see cohesive performances.
The Dutch Tev-revolution continues
Of course, Van den Berg is our second summer signing. A while back, centre half Danzell Gravenberch (also from the Netherlands) arrived on a free transfer.
I don't think it's any coincide that Reading are bringing in several players from the Eredivisie. The off-pitch Dutch contingent includes Stam, Ulderink, Bakkati and Tevreden, so evidently that quartet is specifically targeting players that they think will suit Reading going forwards.
For all Reading-related transfer news as it happens, stay tuned to the Tilehurst End. For more on Van den Berg, you can read our article on him from a few days ago here, and Reading FC's official announcement of the signing here.