Today's main transfer rumour saw Reading seemingly accept a £5 million bid from Aston Villa for Aaron Tshibola, but it is another young player who has become the first to secure a transfer away from the Madejski Stadium this summer, as Rowan Liburd departs.
The 22 year old leaves Berkshire for Stevenage after playing just 51 minutes of senior football in three substitute appearances last season. He joined the Royals last summer from non-league Billericay Town (in Essex) and his performances for the Under 21s, scoring 11 goals in 14 games, gave fans hope that we had a real talent on our hands.
Liburd was loaned out to Wycombe Wanderers in January but failed to score in ten appearances, and now it seems that Jaap Stam did not see a future for him at Reading. This comes despite the club's shortage of strikers at the moment - Deniss Rakels, Yann Kermorgant and Dominic Samuel the only senior forwards in the squad. You could perhaps also throw Craig Tanner, Andrija Novakovich and to a lesser extent Harry Cardwell in there too, but you would have thought Liburd was perhaps ahead of those three in the pecking order.
After completing the transfer for a 'five figure sum', Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said:
"We are determined to add strikers to the backbone of the side that finished strongly defensively last season. Rowan is an exceptional athlete and a big lad, but the step from non league to the Championship is a huge jump for an inexperienced young player."He'll need time to evolve but we’ve invested because we hope he can make a significant contribution to us this year."
Delighted to have signed for @StevenageFC can't wait to get going! Special thanks to @ReadingFC for helping me start my pro career! ❤️⚽️— Rowan Liburd (@R_Liburd21) July 4, 2016