Imagine this: you’ve got an interview for that job you’ve been keen to get for a while. You’re really excited as this new role would be more enjoyable, in a better environment and come with better pay as well.
Great news! You’re offered the job! The office looks really nice (it’s got a coffee machine), the people seem really friendly and you can’t wait to get started. But then, just as you’re about to sign the contract, you’re told that the role is no longer available. It seems bewildering and unjust, but there’s nothing you can do.
This was the scenario in which Danny Loader found himself on Thursday evening, as he completed a medical at Wolves and agreed terms with the club, only to be told Reading had called the deal off. He was left to head back down the M40 with his dream of playing Premier League football put on hold. That’s pretty difficult to take for anyone, let alone an 18-year-old who is experiencing this whole transfer thing for the first time. He has every right to feel confused and disheartened.
The Premier League is The Best League In The World™, and the pinnacle for footballers in this country. Why would you not want to play in it?
I can guarantee the same could be said for all Reading’s players. If an offer from a top-flight team was made for each member of the squad, I would challenge any of them to not be seriously tempted by it. That’s nothing against any individual or indeed the club, because I would also be keen for a move in that scenario. It’s just where the Royals currently are in the football food chain. Even Liam Moore was enticed by a move to Brighton & Hove Albion last summer. You can’t begrudge players for wanting to play at a higher level and better themselves.
When moves such as Loader’s collapse late on, the player’s commitment is always brought into question. But the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. A player can want to join a new club and be disappointed when it doesn’t happen, yet still be dedicated to his current club. Loader’s ambition to play in the Premier League will still be there, but it shouldn’t stop him from performing at his best for Reading. Dan James scored as many goals for Swansea City before his move to Leeds United was called off at the eleventh hour in January as he did after.
Danny Loader has just posted this message on Instagram after his failed move to Wolves, saying he's fully committed to #ReadingFC and didn't hand in a transfer request.— The Tilehurst End (@TheTilehurstEnd) August 13, 2019
The Welshman of course ended up moving to Manchester United this summer, and questions will now be asked about whether Loader will simply bide his time before the chance to move happens again in the new year. Again, I see little issue in this as long as he doesn’t sulk or refuse to play (*cough* Emerse Fae *cough*). From what we’ve seen and read about him so far, that seems unlikely.
If/when he does leave, I will wish him well and hope he goes on to become another shining light for Reading’s academy. There should be no vendetta against him if he joins a better club than our own.