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How Successful Was Reading FC's Summer Transfer Window Business In 2016? Part 1

Value for money, or a wasted opportunity?

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off: Second Leg Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Last summer saw 11 players arrive during Jaap Stam's first transfer window as Reading boss but just how successful were they? Here we look at what they've produced so far and what we might expect from them going forward, using the grading system of hit, miss, so-so or jury's out.


Anssi Jaakkola (Undisclosed fee)

2016/17 Appearances: 3

TTE Average Rating: 6.33

The Finland keeper was signed from South Africa's Ajax feeder team and was regular backup to the club's Player of the Season Ali Al-Habsi. Anssi had a handful of opportunities in cup ties, performing well in the League Cup as well as with the U23 side in the EFL Trophy.

While he didn't get too many chances to show off what he could do, what we did see didn't disappoint and looked a player very capable of filling in for Ali if injury had struck

Verdict: Hit


Danzell Gravenberch (Undisclosed fee - Rumoured £75k)

2016/17 Appearances: 5

TTE Average Rating: 5.7

Gravenberch was technically Brian McDermott's final signing as Reading manager but it certainly had all the hallmarks of a Brian Tevreden move. The utility defender/midfielder came for around £75k with limited expectations and sure enough failed to really make an impact.

His only notable moment came at the Emirates Stadium, where he took out Arsenal's Lucas Perez, much to the anger of Arsene Wenger. Danzell has already moved on and will be spending the next season on loan at KSV Roeselare.

Verdict: Miss


Joey van den Berg (Free transfer)

2016/17 Appearances: 34 (1 Goal)

TTE Average Rating: 5.6

We knew we were in for a wild time when we signed a man who had one of the worst disciplinary records in the Eredivisie and the Dutchman certainly made life interesting for Reading fans last season.

At times he could be inspirational and sublime, yet on other occasions he looked a red card waiting to happen *cough* Wembley *cough*. Part of the issue was never really knowing what his best position was. As part of a back four he looked out of his depth, while he never really settled into the anchor role just in front of the defensive line. His best role may well have been as one of three central defenders but even then you still had plenty of question marks of his positioning and decision making.

Ultimately he ended up with a 5.6 average rating from our TTE ratings, the lowest of any defender to play more than a handful of games, something that helps put his wider performances into context. It was also disappointing not to see him grab a couple more goals, with his only effort coming against Plymouth in the EFL Cup.

I don't think Joey was a bad signing at all, he's a very good player to have around the squad but he's someone that we should be looking to plug in for specific games rather than relying on him week in week out.

Verdict: So-So


Tyler Blackett (Undisclosed - Rumoured £1m)

2016/17 Appearances: 40

TTE Average Rating: 5.7

Like Joey, Tyler struggled from never really nailing down one set position. He was often used in rotation with Jordan Obita at left-back but his lack of attacking output really limited his effectiveness in the role. Likewise, Blackett never seemed fully comfortable as one of two central defenders either. Again, much like Van den Berg, he finally looked to be showing the most promise as part of a back three/five, with his performance at Fulham in particular showing the kind of promise that led to Louis van Gaal giving him starts at Manchester United.

The fee here was again undisclosed but believed to be around a million pounds. We got 40 solid games for that money and a player who SHOULD only improve. It's not a slam dunk success like the man we'll come on to next but it's leaning that way. This year will be the big test.

Verdict: So-So


Liam Moore (Undisclosed - Rumoured £1.5m)

2016/17 Appearances: 47 (1 Goal)

TTE Average Rating: 6.2

Not much to say here other than this is exactly the type of player we should be going out and signing more of. Young, hungry, classy and with a point to prove after being told he could leave Leicester, Moore brought some real quality to the side and produced consistently throughout the season.

Deservedly in the top three for both the club's and TTE's Player of the Season vote and slightly unlucky not to win either.

His transfer fee of around £1.5m was 100% money well spent and Reading should at least double that if he decides to move on.

Verdict: Hit


That wraps it up for part one. Later this week we'll cast our eye over the rest including the likes of Roy Beerens, John Swift and Joseph Mendes. For now, let us know what you made of the players above.