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Dutch Youngster Becomes Reading’s Fifth Summer Signing

He joins from Ajax, where he had been for six years.

Previews - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Jaap Stam may be gone, but the ‘Dutch revolution’ is still clinging on to life at Reading, with defender Darren Sidoel agreeing a three year-deal with the Royals.

The 20-year-old joins from Jong Ajax, who he helped win the Dutch second division with last season, featuring 16 times and scoring once. He also made a number of appearances in the UEFA Youth League.

According to Transfermarkt, Sidoel is predominantly a right-back who can also fill in at centre-back if required. He had been with Ajax’s academy since 2012, having previously been with ADO Den Haag.

The fact that the signing was not preceded by the classic Carabao cans on the club’s Twitter account or that there’s no suggestion Sidoel will link up with the first team in Austria, you might assume he’ll be part of the Under-23 side for the coming season. But then again, we thought the same might come of Pelle Clement last summer, but he ended up playing a bit-part role in the Championship.

As for what we know about Sidoel, the answer is not a lot, but he has said of himself: “I’ve become a better football player since I’ve been playing at Ajax. I’m not the tallest defender, but I’m aggressive. Thanks in part to that, I almost always win my duels.”

Meanwhile, here’s the standard YouTube highlights reel, and he looks pretty attacking...

Brian Tevreden, who you’d imagine had a substantial influence on the deal, said:

“Darren is a very promising young player whose progress we have been closely monitoring for quite some time now. So I am delighted that we have secured his signature.”

Ron Gourlay added:

“I am very pleased to be able to welcome a talented young professional like Darren to Reading Football Club. He is a player with real potential and crucially a drive to improve and a hunger for success. It is good to have him here at Reading.”