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Brian Tevreden: Reading Will Regret Letting Liam Kelly Leave

He also likened the Irish midfielder to Barcelona legend Xavi.

2017 EFL Championship Reading v Bristol City Sep 9th Photo by Simon West/Action Plus via Getty Images

Reading’s former director of football, Brian Tevreden, has had his say on Liam Kelly’s departure to Feyenoord. The young Irishman joined the Eredivisie side - now managed by former Royals boss Jaap Stam - on Monday afternoon on a permanent deal.

That transfer went down very well with Reading fans, at least going by the responses we got when we asked for your opinions on Twitter, but Tevreden looks on it somewhat differently. He’s told Dutch outlet Voetbal International (we’ve used Google Translate here):

“[Reading] regret it, really incomprehensible. There was also interest from the Premier League for [Liam Kelly] and I think he will be leaving for England within one or two years. I’m really surprised that they let him go so easily. Actually, also because he was loved by the fans as a player from his own youth.”

Tevreden went on to describe his own role in the transfer, saying that he’d encouraged Kelly to swap Reading for Feyenoord.

“It is a shame that he dropped a bit out of the boat at Reading after Jaap’s departure. Another manager came who wanted to play football differently. I was in contact with Liam when Feyenoord applied for him and I immediately told him to do it.”

The current CEO of KSV Roeselare, Reading’s sister club that plies its trade in the Belgian second tier, was gushing in his praise for Kelly’s footballing ability. In a comment reminiscent of Jaap Stam’s Iniesta comparison from the 2016/17 season, Tevreden likened Kelly to another former Barcelona midfielder: Xavi. He also said:

“He is creative, technically very skilled and has a great pass. He can put someone away, but also move the game to the other side of the field. He is a player who sets the pace. He knows when to accelerate or decelerate, and he is also a hard worker. I think he is a very good asset to Feyenoord.”

“Liam is not a typical British player. He is small and very technical. I think he can effortlessly join Feyenoord and soon become a regular player. Jaap knows him well and knows exactly how to use it. And make no mistake, despite his height, he is physically quite strong - you don’t just get him off the ball. And he can rotate on his axis so incredibly well that he usually doesn’t get into duels at all.”

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