All of a sudden, things are looking brighter on the contracts front. Andy Yiadom has joined Tom Holmes in agreeing a three-year contract at Reading, with both announcements coming on a positive Friday afternoon.
We first learned that Yiadom would be likely to stay just over a month ago. In mid-May, Berkshire Live reported that he was close to agreeing fresh terms. That was followed a few days ago with the news of a contract being finalised this week.
It's a huge boost to have someone of Yiadom's status commit their future to the club for multiple seasons. The 30-year-old is one of the senior leaders in Reading's squad, a quality right back at this level, and deservedly took the club's player-of-the-season award for 2021/22. Replacing all he offers in a new signing would have been difficult enough, so to see him stick around is really encouraging.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
"In Andy we have a player who makes a positive impact on every game in which he plays for this club. He has a wise head on experienced shoulders and he is a real leader, both on and off the pitch.
"By putting pen to paper on this long-term deal, I’m very pleased he has committed his future to the club and I am certain he will play an important part in what we hope to achieve next season and beyond.”
Manager Paul Ince echoed that positivity, saying:
"Andy epitomised everything we were hoping to see when Alex and I arrived at the club last season – desire, commitment, fight, determination, leadership and a real hunger to win.
"Defensively and offensively, he has been a fantastic player during the four years he has spent at the club to date and I am delighted he has agreed to be part of what we are trying to build here at Reading.”
There's certainly a lot further to go in the Royals’ summer squad building. Reading are officially still waiting on decisions from four other senior players who were offered contracts and will do well to tie down as many of them as possible. Femi Azeez and Junior Hoilett are probably the most likely of them to stay, while Andy Rinomhota has been linked with a move to Bristol City and Josh Laurent is reportedly close to joining Stoke City.
Hopefully the new contract for Yiadom, in addition to Holmes’ deal, will help get the ball rolling on further business. After all, when a player weighs up their future, it’s probably a big factor (albeit not the decisive factor) to see others commit to a club.