How would you sum up his time at Barnsley?
Mixed would probably be the best way to describe it. He was a revelation when he first arrived and was a stand-out performer in 2016-2017, however that’s when the problems started. His head was turned last summer by both Swansea and Huddersfield and when those moves fell through on transfer deadline day it really affected him - he didn’t play again until October.
Since then his form has been very patchy - despite being made captain a lot of fans feel his heart has not been in it since his failed moves. The rumours arose again in January and again the deals never got over the line.
Its been quite clear for most of the season that whilst his body may have been at Oakwell his heart and mind haven’t. This is probably summed up best by the last two games of the season - he was magnificent in the 2-0 win over Brentford but then shambolic in the game at Derby County which sent us down, arguably at fault for at least three of the four goals.
How versatile is he? Just a right back or can he fill in elsewhere?
He could probably fill in at either full back position to be honest but is definitely stronger at right back, where we have ultilised him.
What are his biggest strengths and weaknesses?
His crossing is very good, he is a typical attack-minded full back, heading is a bit suspect however as he isn’t the tallest. I used to think pace was a good attribute too but the way he was outstripped by Cameron Jerome at Derby for their first goal leaves me wondering whether he has lost it a bit - or as mentioned before whether he just didn’t care anymore.
How good is his character?
Well.... if he is 100% committed to a club then very good, gives 100% but for the vast majority of this season he has stunk the club out. No disrespect to Reading either but I have a sneaky suspicion he expected a Premier League move after the calibre of clubs who were courting him 12 months ago, so it will be interesting to see how committed he is to you this coming season, just be aware if anybody higher comes sniffing his head will turn.
On the whole, is he a good signing for Reading?
Yes, in the main. If he puts 100% effort in he is arguably one of the best full-backs in the division, the job is to keep him committed and focused. If you manage that, then a free transfer is an absolute steal.