Forgotten Royal Marc McNulty finally has a new club: Dundee United.
Or should we say old club? McNulty returns there on a season-long loan deal, having spent the entirety of last season there too. Over the course of the 2020/21 campaign, he found the net five times in 30 appearances in all competitions.
McNulty was very happy to make the move and told Dundee United:
“I’m buzzing to be back. I really enjoyed my time here last season, I said it was a great club that was going places. Obviously, there’s been a change of management but that never affected my decision in wanting to come back and, luckily, it’s not affected the club wanting me to return.”
“Any player always wants to be wanted and for me when the manager wants you as a number nine and to score goals that’s a key factor. You want to play in your best position and that’s something that excites me.”
While head coach Tam Courts added:
“We’re delighted to bring a striker of Marc’s quality back to the club, as he’s a proven goalscorer in the league and now approaching his prime. When you look closely, he was involved in a lot of our best-attacking play last year so, that gives me a lot of optimism for the impact he can have once we get him up to speed.”
This is the latest in a string of temporary departures for McNulty, who’s been continually sent out on loan over the last few years. He’s previously spent time at Sunderland (x1), Hibernian (x2) and Dundee United (x1), meaning he’s set to end his four-year contract at Reading, which runs out next summer, with more loan spells away than goals for the Royals (5-1).
Why is that? Well, no Reading manager has been able to find a proper place for him in their squad, let alone first team. McNulty needs to be played with a strike partner but, although there were signs of a 4-4-2 being developed by Paul Clement, who brought McNulty in, those plans were scrapped.
Since then the Royals have typically played with one striker - a set-up that doesn’t suit McNulty. Veljko Paunovic briefly tried out McNulty as a wide player at the beginning of last season, but that didn’t work.
From Reading’s point of view this transfer is certainly a good move: getting a player off the wage bill who wasn’t ever realistically going to be in our plans. As for McNulty, he needs not only a fresh start but also some stability - knowing where he’ll be playing his football next season rather than continually having loan deals arranged.
Best of luck for the future Marc.