No new striker just yet, but Reading have completed one important piece of business today by agreeing a new three year contract with academy graduate Jordan Obita.
The Oxford-born defender made his first team debut at the age of just 16 in 2010 and has gone on to 162 appearances for the Royals. This means he is the club’s current longest serving player and would be in line for a testimonial if he sees out the next three years!
Following loan spells at Barnet, Gillingham, Portsmouth and Oldham, his breakthrough campaign came in 2013/14 when he picked up the club’s official Player of the Season award. Capped by England at Under-21 level, Obita has made no secret of his desire to play further up the field throughout his career, but his impressive performances at left-back have made him a mainstay in the defence.
Last season however the 23-year-old was able to push up the field more in a new wing-back role, and had his best goalscoring campaign in a Royals shirt to date as he netted three goals in 43 appearances including against Fulham in the play-off semi-final first leg.
Jaap Stam was full of praise for Obita, telling the official club website:
“Jordan was here years before I joined the club and over that time he has proven his ability as a winger, a left-back and a wing back.
“Players with a great left foot are hard to find and his set pieces, delivery into the opposition’s box and passing ability across the pitch were all very important to us as he shared that left side with Tyler last season, so I’m very happy we have been able to keep him at the club with this new contract.”
Ron Gourlay added:
“At 23 years of age, Jordan is still a very young player who has the potential to become better and better as a key member of this Reading squad...but he also has invaluable first experience with so many appearances under his belt already. So it was important that, in the last year of his contract at the club, we offered him a new deal that his performances last season truly warranted. I’m delighted he’s signed on the dotted line.”
Finally, Brian Tevreden said: “Jordan has earned this new contract at a club which he has called home for fifteen years! A versatile, very talented footballer, he remains a valuable member of the first team squad at Reading and I’m pleased he has committed his future to the Royals until 2020.”