In just under one week’s time it’s transfer deadline day. That means three things - Jim White’s yellow tie will get it’s bi-annual run out, Sky Sports reporters will be positioned outside clubs up and down the country and Jacob South Klein will be hiding in one of the Madejski Stadium’s many bushes.
It could well be a busy seven days in Berkshire, with Reading’s summer spending surely not over, whilst a couple of players could yet depart the club. Here’s what needs to happen in RG2 before the window slams shut at 11pm next Thursday:
Sign a striker at the very least
The Royals’ list of summer arrivals currently includes Pelle Clement, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Vito Mannone, Mo Barrow and Leandro Bacuna but expect that to be added to in the next week. After the win against Aston Villa last Tuesday, Jaap Stam spoke to BBC Berkshire about his desire to bring in a centre-back, midfielder and striker.
The latter is clearly the priority, with a seemingly endless list of front-men linked with a move in the last few weeks as the team clearly lacked a cutting edge in their first few games of the season. Nahki Wells is still recovering from ankle surgery but Huddersfield boss David Wagner has said he is open to offers for the 27-year-old, whilst speculation about the likes of Brighton’s Tomer Hemed and Fulham’s Sone Aluko refuses to go away.
In terms of midfield, Leandro Bacuna may well have filled the Danny Williams’ shaped hole, but it seems that Stam is still after another attacking/creative player after missing out on Lewis Baker and Siem de Jong recently. With a £2 million deal reportedly agreed with the Dutchman before he opted for Ajax instead, it’s clear that the boss feels it’s a position that needs filling, especially after news of John Swift’s injury.
Finally, the only centre-backs that have been linked to Reading this summer are Rasmus Thelander and Frederico Venancio. However, the former completed a move from Panathinaikos to FC Zurich last week, whereas the latter is on the verge of joining Sheffield Wednesday. Whilst Reading look fairly well-off in that position, bringing in a new face certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing, if only to avoid moving back Joey van den Berg or George Evans from midfield if injuries become an issue.
Keep hold of key players
The worst-case scenario for Reading in the next week would be waving goodbye to a regular starter. From my point of view, Liams Moore and Kelly are the two most at risk as they are surely the most valuable players at the club, both in terms of importance and price. Whilst it does seem incredibly unlikely that either really would depart, if a Premier League club shoves a hefty wad of money in Reading’s face, they may find it hard to turn a move down.
Loan out a few youngsters
Once Jaap Stam has a fully fit squad to choose from, many of the youngsters who have featured so far this season may find first team opportunities much harder to come by. The big question is whether the likes of Omar Richards, Axel Andresson, Andy Rinomhota and Sam Smith are seen as viable back-ups in the roles of left-back, centre-back, centre midfield and striker respectively. If they are, then they could feature on the bench every now and again but otherwise continue their development with the Under-23s. If they aren’t, then dropping a division or two until January/the end of the season certainly isn’t the worst option in the world.
Stephen Quinn, although most certainly not a youngster, has also spoken of the possibility of going out on loan as he is unsure whether he is in Stam’s plans for the season or not. Finally if anyone can actually locate Sandro Wieser, the Liechtenstein international may depart temporarily or perhaps even permanently.
Who do you think Reading should sign before the end of the window? Are there any players that you feel should depart? Have your say in the comments below.