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Reading FC's Loanee Class Of 2015/16 Is Still Struggling...

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One of the biggest criticisms of the Steve Clarke era was the number of loanees used but have any of last year's 'Super Six' found success elsewhere so far?

Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Reading had six loanees on the books last season. None of them opted to stick around, so lets take a look at how they've started life away from the Mad Stad.

Michael Hector

Last season....

Hector got the move of his dreams on deadline day last year, as the Reading centre-back completed a deal thought to be around the £4m mark to his boyhood club Chelsea. 'Big Hec' was immediately sent back to Reading, where he featured fairly regularly before being recalled just before the end of the campaign.

This season.... back out on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt

The defender/midfielder was sent out on loan to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt but has made far from a dream start. Hector has played in one league game and one cup match and has been sent off in both of them.

*****

Lucas Piazon

Last season...

Another Chelsea loanee was Lucas Piazon who flattered to deceive most of the time. While the Brazilian chipped in with a combined eight goals & assists, he averaged just 5.4/10 in our Tilehurst End player ratings, the lowest of any player with 10 appearances or more.

This season... back out on loan at Fulham

Piazon has been loaned out in each of his five seasons at Chelsea, with the 22-year-old now just down the M4 at Fulham. The midfielder hasn't had a happy time in West London so far, failing to get off the bench since moving on deadline day.  His happiness was summed up in a recent interview where he slagged off his parent club for constantly sending him out...

‘It makes no sense to go on loan all the time,' he said. ‘It is not good for any player in my experience — or the experience of the other boys.

‘I don't see it as a positive thing any more. To be in a different place every year is not good for me at 22.


So safe to say, the grass hasn't been any greener for poor Lucas.

*****

Alex Fernandez

Last season....

Ahhhh Alex. He may have been ordinary and rarely seen playing for Reading but on social media he was a MOTM candidate each and every week. Always bubbly and full of enthusiasm, you got the sense that unlike some in the modern game, he was genuinely just happy to be a footballer. Sadly, neither Steve Clarke nor Brian McDermott seemed to rate the Spanish midfielder and he only managed 10 appearances while on loan from Espanyol.

This season.... sold to Elche

Fortunately, Mr Fernandez has found life a bit better back in Spain, where he's managed three starts since signing for Second Division side Elche. It's probably not the career path he had mapped out after signing for Real Madrid as a youngster but at least he's playing football again and at 23, he's got time to work his way back.

*****

Andrew Taylor

Last season...

Signed as backup for Jordan Obita at left-back, Taylor notched up 23 appearances while on loan from League One Wigan. His performances were OK, but he rarely featured under Brian McDermott and ended the campaign with an average rating of just 5.8/10.

This season... back out on loan at Bolton

He's still on Wigan's books but he's playing League One football again after the League One Champions opted to loan him to relegated Bolton. He's once again largely been a backup option for Phil Parkinson's side, starting just two league games and coming off the bench on a further three occasions.

*****

Ola John

Last season....

Ahhhh Ola John. When he was on form, the bloke was magical and one of the few performers to get the crowd on its feet in a pretty poor season. The problem was that Ola could barely stand on his feet after 30 minutes or more of football and those fitness concerns led to just 10 starts in all competitions from the Benfica winger. Remember that John was just 23 years old when he pitched up at the Mad Stad... Still, he did inspire one of the best football chants we've had for a long time.

This season... back out on loan at Wolves

After a few murmourings of a return to Berkshire, John spent most of the summer training with Benfica's youth side after their management team made it clear he wasn't in their plans. Fortunately for Ola, Wolves had a takeover this summer which has seen them regularly raiding the Portuguese club and John duly arrived a week before the transfer window closed.

So far it's not really worked out for Ola as a month after his arrival, his sole outing has been as a half-time sub in Wolves' 2-0 EFL Cup defeat at Newcastle.

*****

Matej Vydra

Last season...

When Vydra was signed on loan from Watford it was widely hailed as the missing piece in the promotion jigsaw for Steve Clarke. This was a man who had banged home goals at Championship level, was still young and had experience of getting teams up. So what if we spent a reported £2.5m just to bring him in on loan, that would be more than repaid when we won promotion.

Early on it seemed as if that thought process would come to fruition as Vydra and Orlando Sa helped Reading steam up to second in the table. Sadly Sa's goals dried up after suspension and a niggling injury saw Vydra lose any momentum he'd had. Missed penalties, fluffed chances and just three league goals followed by the Czech striker, although he did bang home six in another memorable cup run.

His form got so bad that it caused a bust up between former BFFs Tim Dellor & Brian McDermott, with Dellor suggesting that if Vydra was a dog, he would have been put down... Ouch.

This season.... signed for Derby

If Vydra needed a boost to his ego, then the fact that Derby Manager Nigel Pearson was happy to spend a club record £8m to bring him to the iPro Stadium should have done the trick. However, once again it's not been working out for Vydra, who hasn't bagged in three league games and has been part of a Derby team who've slumped to 20th in the table and have scored just one in six games.

******

So that's how they've done so far, but if you had to take one of those six back in January who would you go for?