Reading have loaned out another two youngsters in as many days, sending Luke Southwood and Sam Smith elsewhere for first-team experience. Southwood has joined Scottish side Hamilton Academical until early January, while Smith is due to stay with Cambridge United for the duration of the campaign.
Both are decent enough moves - assuming that Southwood and Smith will play regularly.
Southwood got that last season in a loan spell with Eastleigh, where he impressed in a failed attempt at promotion into league football via the playoffs. There had been speculation that he could be used as a second-choice ‘keeper this season, but Jose Gomes has instead opted to give the under-20 World Cup winner match practice elsewhere.
In joining Academical, Southwood will be on the books of a side that finished 10th last season - a respectable position considering they were only promoted to the Scottish top tier in 2014. Southwood will certainly be hoping that he doesn’t throw away his shot at Hamilton.
Smith on the other hand has struggled for game time since bursting onto the scene in 2017/18, when he turned out 11 times in Jaap Stam’s second season. He played 23 times for Oxford United in 2018 (but only an average of 42 minutes per match), before getting three games with Dave Edwards’ Shrewsbury Town in the first half of 2019.
In linking up with League Two Cambridge United, he can hopefully get the match practice that he’ll need if he’s to kick on with his career.
Elsewhere, Reading have confirmed the permanent departure of David Meyler and the loan signing of Lucas Boye from Torino. The former agreed to his contract being torn up early, while the latter will stay with the Royals for 2019/20.