Welcome to Berkshire, Tyrese Fornah! The Royals have signed the 22-year-old central midfielder on loan for the season from Nottingham Forest. Although he has played higher up, he’s a better fit as a holding midfielder.
This transfer seems to have come about quickly. News of it emerged on July 6 via Rob Molloy on Twitter. That was then backed up the following day by Courtney Friday and then Sam Rourke of Football League World before the move was ratified on Friday afternoon.
Fornah is Reading’s fourth new addition of the summer. As well as fellow loanee Joe Lumley, who kicked off the Royals’ business by coming in from Middlesbrough, we’ve also seen free agents Tom Ince and Dean Bouzanis come through the door.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
“Adding to our midfield options became a high priority this summer but it was important we identified the right type of player and targeted characters who would be a good fit for this football club. Tyrese is a fit, strong, talented young midfielder who is full of promise and I am delighted he has agreed to join us for 2022-23.”
While Paul Ince added:
“Tyrese will add power, presence, vision and energy to our midfield and this is a loan move which I believe will benefit both him in developing his game at Championship level and the club with the ability he can bring to the squad. I am looking forward to working with him out on the training pitch.”
Fornah started out in Brighton and Hove Albion’s academy but joined Forest in 2018. Although he’s played four times for his parent club and managed another five on loan at Casa Pia (Portugal), the vast majority of his experience so far has come in League One.
The first stage of that was in 2020/21, when Fornah played 39 times League One for Plymouth Argyle. During a half-season loan with Shrewsbury Town from January 2022, he managed another 19 games in the same competition. Joining Reading therefore is a logical step-up, especially given that Forest are now in the top flight.
From the Royals’ point of view, adding another central midfielder is an important bit of business. Reading have lost a number of such players this summer, whether they were out of contract or returning to their parent clubs. Andy Rinomhota and Josh Laurent moved to Championship rivals Cardiff City and Stoke City respectively, while Tom Dele-Bashiru and Danny Drinkwater returned to Watford and Chelsea respectively, although the latter is now out of contract.
Although Dejan Tetek and Ovie Ejaria remain as natural central midfielders, expect Fornah to be joined by a couple more signings in this department. That could include Massimo Luongo who’s been reported to be on trial with Reading at the moment. Regardless, Fornah should still be in line for regular game time.
That’s certainly what he’ll be pushing for. Fornah made his ambitions and drive very clear in summer 2021 comments about his Forest teammates to the Nottingham Post:
“Hopefully I can push them and take their shirt. That’s what I’m here to do - take their shirt. Obviously we’re friends, but it’s ruthless in this industry because you have to take people’s shirts. That’s what I’m trying to do.
“There’s good rivalry and banter. You come in and have a laugh and a joke every day. But at the end of the day, they know what I’m here to do. I’m not here to be all pally-pally, I’m here to get their shirt. That’s my target.
“I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t want to be considered a kid anymore. I just want to be respected and considered as someone who’s really pushing. Ultimately, my dream is to play for Forest.”
A strong season with us and he’ll be a lot closer to making that dream a reality. Welcome to Reading Tyrese!