It’s the news you’ve all been waiting for: Tom McIntyre has signed a new contract at Reading. His old deal had been due to expire tomorrow, but he’s now set to stay with the club until the summer of 2024.
“Tom was a young fan of Reading Football Club, he learned his trade within our academy, he has established himself in his boyhood club’s first team and now he is a big part of its future. I’m delighted he has committed to three more years as a Royal.”
While McIntyre himself had this video message to the fans:
A message for Royals supporters from @Tom5Mc!— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) June 29, 2021
That brings an end to the 'Announce Tmac' era, happy with the news? ⚪ pic.twitter.com/5aw2FBaHTS
Getting this done is vital business for Reading. Besides being a lifelong Royal himself and hugely popular with the supporters, McIntyre adds so much to this squad. He’s already proven to be a strong option at centre half with some impressive performances last season - defensively resolute but also capable of bringing the ball out from the back and into midfield.
McIntyre also demonstrated his versatility by filling in at left back and as a holding midfielder. Throw in last season’s appearances as an auxiliary number 10 and his poacher finishes, and you never know, he might have a future as a playmaker or centre forward one day.
In all seriousness, centre back is where his future lies. He’s got plenty of potential to develop as a key first-team player in that position over the next three years, and you certainly wouldn’t bet against him being named Reading captain one day.
Considering the entirety of what he offers, not getting McIntyre to sign a new deal would have been a huge blow. Reading wouldn’t have found it easy to replace him at all, let alone in one identical signing.
This is also a very welcome break from the norm. Reading have been particularly underwhelming in managing contracts in the last few years, with numerous players leaving on free transfers rather than being sold (Danny Loader, Omar Richards) and only a handful of the current squad having contracts that go beyond 2022.
So sealing a three-year deal for McIntyre is very good indeed. In fact, it’s the first time Reading have given a current player a new contract that lasts more than two years since Andy Rinomhota in early 2019.
Today’s news comes on the back of a few other contract renewals in the last couple of months. Luke Southwood, Michael Morrison and Ethan Bristow all agreed new deals. Attention must now turn to those players out of contract next season: Tom Holmes, Rinomhota, Josh Laurent and John Swift among them.