Joey van den Berg has finalised a loan move back to his home country with NEC Nijmegen. The midfielder’s future at Reading has been in doubt all summer, and on Wednesday afternoon the Royals announced his exit.
Dutch outlet Forza NEC believe the second-tier club have an option of keeping the 32 year-old there for a further 12 months.
It brings to an end a mixed two seasons for van den Berg. After arriving on a free transfer from Heerenveen in the summer of 2016, he played 28 times in the league to help the Royals reach Wembley. He had to be pretty versatile in the process, featuring first at centre half (before Liam Moore arrived) then predominantly as a holding midfielder, and slotting into a back three in the play-offs.
Last season was pretty rough for van den Berg who looked short on fitness and sharpness throughout, but still tonked one in from range at home to Barnsley in a 3-0 win.
That said, an exit this summer was inevitable with van den Berg out of favour under Paul Clement and increasingly down the pecking order after the arrival of David Meyler. He was even left out of Reading’s squad for the recent trip to Austria, so his departure will have been planned for quite some time.
Although he struggled at Reading, particularly in his second season, to be fair to him he still played an important role in our charge towards the play-off final. We wish him the best for the future.