Reading have kicked off their summer recruitment with the addition of Joe Lumley. The 27-year-old goalkeeper joins from fellow Championship side Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal. According to Berkshire Live, this month concludes a whole month of talks between the two sides.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
“Joe is a goalkeeper of proven pedigree who, despite still being relatively young for a keeper, has more than 150 first-team appearances on his CV already.
"After an extensive search and much consideration around the goalkeeping options available to us, we firmly believe Joe will provide vital competition for the number one shirt next season and prove an excellent addition to our first team squad. I’m very pleased we have been able to secure his services for 2022-23.”
While Paul Ince added:
"The goalkeeping position was a difficult one to solve for this club last season, so it was a priority to add strength in depth to that corner of the dressing room ahead of a brand new challenge in 2022-23.
"Lumley is a tall, confident, capable young keeper and he will be hungry to stake a claim for the goalkeeper position when he joins us at the start of pre-season training this week.”
The Royals have been on a bit of a goalkeeping merry-go-round in the last year or so. Rafael Cabral had been Reading’s number one in 2020/21 before being surpassed by Luke Southwood. However, following the latter’s drop-off in form and the departure of the former, Karl Hein and then Orjan Nyland came in as short-term signings.
Lumley will therefore be hoping to establish himself as a first-team regular over an extended period. That could be made easier by the potential exit of Southwood, who was reportedly told he can leave this summer. Otherwise, the Royals can count on Jokull Andresson and Coniah Boyce-Clarke as future options between the posts, but neither have Championship experience.
Lumley certainly brings that, having played well over 100 times in the second tier. The bulk of those appearances came at Queens Park Rangers, whose youth set-up he came through before making his debut in 2016. He also will have been known to Reading’s current head of football operations Mark Bowen, formerly Rangers’ assistant manager.
Mark Bowen's influence likely coming through with the Lumley signing. The keeper was in the QPR academy and looking to break into the first team when Bowen was assistant boss, much like Josh Laurent.— The Tilehurst End (@TheTilehurstEnd) June 13, 2022
Lumley’s busiest seasons at Loftus Road were 2018/19 (42 appearances) and 2019/20 (27 appearances), but he struggled for game time in 2020/21 (5 appearances in addition to short loans at Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers). He then left QPR last summer, turning down the offer of a new contract to move to Middlesbrough in search of regular football, which he got (34 appearances).
Although those 34 appearances did include a respectable 13 clean sheets, Lumley was dropped twice (by different managers) due to a string of errors. You can see a super cut of them, complete with catchy backing music, in this video:
Still, poor seasons are there to be made up for. We’ve seen ‘keepers arrive at Reading with a reputation for being error-prone and then go onto establish themselves as solid, reliable goalies - Ali Al-Habsi and Emi Martinez come to mind. Hopefully Joe Lumley can follow their lead.
Welcome to Reading Joe!