Following Andrija Novakovich and Danzell Gravenberch’s temporary departures, Tennai Watson has today become the third Reading player this summer to secure a loan move away for the 2018/19 campaign. The right-back has joined AFC Wimbledon, who finished 18th in League One last season.
Having come through the Royals academy and been part of side that reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final in 2014, Watson appeared to have made a slight breakthrough into the first team in 2016/17, making his debut against Preston on the opening day before going on to make a total of seven appearances.
However, he struggled with injury last season and was limited to just seven games for the Under-21s in Premier League 2. After the arrival of Andy Yiadom, Watson’s chances of game time with the first team decreased even more, meaning the move to Kingsmeadow gives the 21-year-old an excellent opportunity to play regular football at senior level for the first time in his career.
Following the announcement of the deal, Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley said:
“Tennai is very athletic, very quick, and a good one versus one defender. He loves to get forward and make things happen and he fits the criteria of everything that we want. He is a great lad with a fantastic attitude, that has come from everybody we’ve spoken to. Tennai is a good size and he is a powerful athlete. We have to get him up to speed because he had a tough time last season, but he is fit and well, he played 45 minutes the other day for Reading Under-23s against Bath.
“We are quite excited now that we have Tennai and Toby [Sibbick] for the right-back position. We feel that we’ve got two young, athletic, right-backs now. They will be vying for a position in the team that we are trying to put together. Tennai had an injury last season and he suffered a burst appendix as well, but he got himself back fit at the end of the season. He needs to get games under his belt and we are delighted that he is going to do it with us.”