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Reading FC Loan Round-Up: January 5th

Which Royals plying their trade away from the Mad Stad have impressed recently?

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George Legg - Hungerford (National League South) Appearances: 26 Clean Sheets: 11

Legg played six times since the last round-up, and kept three clean sheets on the way to playing every minute of his side's matches. He shut out Wealdstone, in a 2-0 victory, Oxford City, in a 6-0 triumph, and Margate, in a 1-0 win.

Paolo Hurtado - Vitoria de Guimaraes (Liga NOS) Appearances: 18 Goals: 5

Hurtado grabbed four goals and an assist this month, having scored only once in eleven appearances for the club since joining in the summer. He had been playing well for Vitoria before the recent purple patch, but a 118th minute extra time winner against Boavista kicked off his goal-scoring form.

He also scored the 68th minute winner in the league against Boavista a couple of weeks later, before grabbing a 61st minute winner in a 1-0 win against Vilafranquense a week later. His final goal came in stoppage time, another winner, this time in a 2-1 win against Vizela last week.

Here is last week's goal against Vizela;

Sean Long - Cambridge United (Football League Two) Appearances: 12

Long has been a peripheral player since joining the club on loan, and he appeared in only two games this month, coming on during his side's 3-1 win over Cheltenham in stoppage time before starting in the 1-0 defeat to Bradford which saw him withdrawn after just twenty minutes with a knock.

His loan deal expires this week.

Craig Tanner - Plymouth Argyle (Football League Two) Appearances: 24 Goals: 5

Tanner scored twice this month, the 76th minute winner in a 1-0 win over Accrington, and a 95th minute sealer in a 2-0 win against Crawley. Although getting game-time in all but two games this month, Tanner only completed 90 minutes once, and has often been the 'on-the-hour' substitute (whether that be being withdrawn or being the impact sub).

Courtesy of @TalkReading, here's his winner against Crawley;

Rob Dickie - Cheltenham Town (Football League Two) Appearances: 26 Goals: 2

Dickie is racking up the appearances for the League Two strugglers, playing all 90 minutes in all nine games for the club this month, including a solitary 2-1 victory over Morecambe.

On whether his side can, or want to, keep Dickie for the remainder of the season, manager Gary Johnson said:

"With Rob Dickie we are not 100 per cent sure yet (whether we can keep him). I'd like to keep him and he needs to be playing in the first team somewhere.

"If Reading recall him he'll be a squad player or in the Under-23s, but we'd like to keep him."

Jonathan Bond - Gillingham (Football League One) Appearances: 9

Bond's injury woes have coincided with Stuart Nelson's return to form for the Gills, and as a result Reading's young keeper hasn't been able to return to the starting line-up for the League One side. In fact, he hasn't made the bench in over two months, despite the manager confirming at the beginning of December that he had returned to fitness.

Jack Stacey - Exeter City (Football League Two) Appearances: 18

Stacey had been a bit-part player for Exeter up until this past month, where he began the month again as a bench-warmer, making an appearance off the bench against Leyton Orient between two unused substitute appearances against Carlisle and Luton.

But he finished the month strong, playing 90 minutes in wins against Cheltenham, Newport, Leyton Orient and Mansfield as well as a 0-0 draw with Yeovil. He grabbed an assist in the Mansfield game, setting up the winner in stoppage time to make it 2-0.

Stacey spoke to the Exeter Express on his time at Exeter and staying at the club;

"It's out of my hands at the moment but I've really enjoyed the time I've been here.

"I've learnt a lot from the manager and all the players and staff as well, so we'll see what happens.

"I've played in three different positions for Exeter so far and I think I've shown that I can play them.

"It has been a learning curve – I think playing consistently at a senior level has been a massive learning curve for me and I've enjoyed it as well.

"Sometimes you've got to make the decision to come out and say you need to go out and learn and gain more experience before maybe you're ready to go and play at a Championship club."

Tariqe Fosu - Colchester United (Football League Two) Appearances: 16 Goals: 2

Fosu has been a fringe player at Colchester since joining, often being used as an impact substitute. He was unused for four consecutvie games this month after being thrown on in stoppage time in a defeat to Yeovil and victory over Cheltenham.

But he ended that run in style, coming on in the 74th minute aganst Stevenage to score a 4th goal in a 4-2 win to seal the victory in stoppage time.

Axel Andresson - Bath City (National League South) Appearances: 4

Andresson joined Bath at the beginning of December, and has already extended his loan until the end of February following impressive performances in draws against Hungerford and a win against Whitehawk. He has played 90 minutes in all four games since joining the club.

The young Icelander was unable to make the trip to Welling after being required in an under-23 game against Stoke for the Royals, and the Bath manager clarified his stance on the deal.

"Hopefully that was just a one off. We didn't look quite as strong on Saturday, and I'm not being disrespectful to our lads, but we need to toughen up for the weekend at the back.

"They come out on a youth loan, so they're still allowed to go back and play development games during the week.

"Obviously that wasn't the intention and Reading would have preferred him to be playing for me, but they had a game on the Friday and just had a glut of injuries.

"I think it was a real, real last resort. Martin Kuhl, who I know very well, the under-21 manager was very apologetic and I don't think he would have done it unless he really had to.

"To be fair, I spoke to Axel on Sunday and it was great for him to get a game, but I think he was looking forward to playing for us as well."

Zak Jules - Braintree (National League) Appearances: 5

Jules has slotted right into the Braintree side since joining, playing 90 minutes against Millwall, Torquay and Gateshead before missing the win over Boreham Wood. He followed that up with two substitute appearances in consecutive games against Dagenham.

LOAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Four goals for Paolo Hurtado earns him the award this week.

Honourable mentions to goal-scorers Craig Tanner (2) and Tariqe Fosu (1) as well.