Reading brought in their eighth signing of the summer on Monday by bringing in Josh Sims on a season-long loan from Southampton. To learn more about the young winger, we talked to Allen Gunn from St Mary’s Musings - a big thanks to him, and give them a follow on Twitter @StMarysMusings.
Where does Sims play, and what style of player is he?
Sims is often deployed on the wing when playing for the Southampton first-team, which hasn’t been regularly, but he’s been a fixture with the Under-23s where he’s been a playmaker and sometimes goalscorer.
As far as his overall style, he’s an aggressive attacking player that likes to put pressure on the defence with his pace and passing ability.
What are his main strengths and weaknesses?
Sims’ main strengths are his speed and ability to get the defender to commit to the challenge. He then dinks the ball around the player and bursts into the open field. He’s shown at the U23 level and in cameo appearances at the Premier League level that he reads the game well and can pick out a pass whether it be to switch the play or set someone up for a chance on goal.
His biggest weakness is his size, which could hamper him in a physical league and/or game, and that he really hasn’t seen much action at the professional level, hence why he’s joined Reading on loan.
What’s his character like?
Sims is a one of the most talked about youth players at Southampton by the fans. At 21 years old, he’s still got maturing to do on the pitch, but he’s a consummate professional off it. He handled the ordeal with Ronald Koeman saying he was “not aware of [Josh Sims]” during his time at the club after a strong performance against Everton by continuing to go about his business.
How much potential does he have in the long term?
I think the vibe around the club is that he will at some point become a regular first-teamer - or should I say that is their hopes. Fans thought he would be given a chance this year with the departure of Dusan Tadic, but the arrival of Mohamed Elyounoussi has pushed him down the pecking order again for a place in the game day squad.
Is Sims ready to make an impact in the Championship?
Sims is likely to have more of an impact in the Championship at this stage of his development. He constantly made an impact at the U23 level and showed that he has all the tools to be successful, but now needs regular game time at the professional level.
Southampton does its research and tries to only send its youth players out on loan if the situation is right. They must feel what Reading will offer is sufficient enough to keep his trajectory going upward.