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Al-Habsi Awarded New Reading FC Contract

Deal until 2019 for 2015/16 Player of the Season.

Bristol City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

The January transfer window is in full swing but Reading have acted to keep one of their first-teamers at the club with Ali Al-Habsi putting pen to paper on a new two-and-a-half year contract with the Royals.

As the player of the season in the ill-fated 2015/16 campaign, the Omani has earned the faith of new boss Jaap Stam since the Dutchman's arrival, holding off Ansi Jaakkola and Jonathan Bond's competition. Between the sticks this campaign, he's made 24 appearances and kept eight clean sheets.

“As we all know, Ali is a great goalkeeper - a fine shot stopper with good reactions who even at this stage in his career is still improving his game and becoming better and better as a player," Stam told the club website.

"He is very calm on the ball which is important to us, especially in the way we want to play out from the back at Reading. And just as important to this group...Ali is a great person with a very good mentality. So we are all very happy that he has signed another deal at the club."

Signed in 2015, the 35-year-old has impressed many fans with his affable personality and strong shot-stopping abilities, even if a mistake is often just around the corner, particularly when the ball's at his feet. However, his handling has vastly improved in recent months and Al-Habsi will be a good asset to have around the squad on and off the pitch in the coming years.