Josh Barrett has secured a move away from Reading, joining League One side Bristol Rovers on a two and a half-year deal.
It brings to an end his 15 year association with the Royals, having first joined the club at the age of six. He progressed through the ranks before making his debut under Brian McDermott in March 2016 as he came on as a substitute against Huddersfield Town. In doing so, he became academy graduate number 38.
In total, Barrett made 13 appearances for the club, seven of which came this season. Undoubtedly his highlight in the blue and white hoops was scoring a brace against Plymouth Argyle in the second round of the EFL Cup that helped Reading to a 4-2 win, and you could see how much it meant to him in his celebrations.
However with first team opportunities in the near future looking unlikely for the 21-year-old in Berkshire, a move away is probably best for his career. BerkshireLive reported yesterday that the deal includes a ‘very large’ sell-on fee on any future move he makes.
On Instagram, Barrett wrote:
“Just wanna say a massive thank you to @readingfc for the last 15 years of my life.
”So many good memories and I’ve met some of my best friends along the way.
”Also a big thank you to my team mates for all there support and I wish you all the best for the future.
”And a big shoutout to all the fans who have supported me from day 1. I’m excited for my next adventure now. UP THE DING.”
Best of luck, Josh!
Reading have also confirmed that Joao Virginia has been recalled by Everton, ending his loan spell at the Madejski Stadium.
The goalkeeper had not featured for the Royals since late September, when he started against Wolves in the EFL Cup. It was one of just three appearances he made for the club, the others coming in the first two league fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City.
Unfortunately errors in both of those matches led to Reading bringing in the more experienced Rafael between the sticks, and Virginia was again at fault for the goal conceded against Wolves.
His first experience of senior football will undoubtedly have taught the 20-year-old a lot, but unfortunately no one will look back on his time in Berkshire with much fondness.