clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

6 Reasons It Made Sense For Reading To Sell Norwood

Some fans are upset at the sale, but it makes a fair amount of sense.

Wales v Northern Ireland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Reading FC made the shock announcement that Norwood was on his way to Brighton on Wednesday night, but the news needn't worry you about the upcoming season.

1. A fee

Oliver Norwood's contract was up at the end of the season. Given his aspirations to be a top-level player and on the back of some impressive showings at Euro 2016, it was highly unlikely that the Northern Ireland international would sign a new deal.

Therefore, to sell him now means that we've received a fee for a player likely to be heading off next summer. As mentioned on the podcast, the club has got into a bad habit recently of letting players leave for nothing (a certain Wales international springs to mind…), so this makes a refreshing change.

The fee for the transfer was undisclosed — as it always is, grrr — but bearing in mind Norwood arrived for roughly £1.2m, you'd think the club has also made a profit on him.

2. His wages

Another financially motivated reason to shift Norwood is his wages. Again, nobody knows the numbers he was on at Reading but it's safe to assume that he sat fairly high on the wage bill.

That money is now freed up to either pursue further transfers, or fund new contracts for existing stars the club wants to keep. Either way, freeing up money isn't a bad thing.

3. Fit into the system

I haven't seen the club play in pre-season. I've only seen highlights, and we all know how stupid it is to draw conclusions from them. Thankfully, a certain member of the Editorial Team here at TTE Towers has provided some in-depth analysis of Stam's attacking system.

Having read that, I'm not sure where Norwood would fit into his system. We saw last season that he's not got it in him to play as a more attacking midfielder, and he certainly doesn't have the legs to press as Stam wants.

And I'm not confident he can play as the pivot (deeper, central position) in a three man midfield. Yes, he likes to sit deep, passing from side to side and trying the odd long ball, generally fulfilling a deep lying playmaker role, but when the opposition are on the counter and running at him, the only midfielder back? No. Thank. You.

4. Playing style

We all know how Norwood plays. He slows the tempo, he shifts the ball from side to side, improved in the tackling department, can switch the play and has the occasional set piece worldy in his locker.

But is that style suited to a high pressing, fluid attacking system? No.

5. A fresh start

Norwood has been a near-permanent fixture in a Reading side that his disappointed in the last two seasons. No, it isn't his fault and no, he can't be expected to have dragged the team up the table by himself, but this summer looks to be one of renewal and a fresh start.

Both Norwood and the club need to move on from the disappointment of the last few seasons, and Ollie has come to symbolise that.

6. Ready made replacement?

The club already has a number of different options in midfield, with Joey van den Berg seemingly the ideal fit for the anchoring role behind the midfield, or George Evans could drop deeper.

Though could a surprise name profit from Norwood's departure? Both the Technical Director, Brian Tevreden, and manager, Jaap Stam, have noted how impressed they are by Liam Kelly.

We saw a glimpse of his talent when the club posted a video on YouTube of his neat free kick a few years back, but since then he's largely vanished.

This pre-season, Kelly has featured prominently and could be the one to take advantage of Norwood's departure, not only in his set piece ability but his creativity as well. An academy player breaking through is always encouraging and gives the fans a boost. Let's just hope he's more of a Sigurdsson than a Scott Davies.

What do you make of Norwood's departure? Could it be a good thing or are we doomed? Let us know. We don't bite.