Right before the second home game of the season, Reading have another signing. This time it's Ben Elliott, a 20-year-old central midfielder from Chelsea. He's come in on a permanent deal, agreeing a three-year contract.
Given that the Royals are under an embargo on fees being paid, you'd presume Elliott has come in on a free transfer but with a hefty sell-on clause included. That would make this transfer similar to the one that probably brought Charlie Savage to the club from Manchester United.
Elliott has no senior experience, having only turned out for Chelsea at youth level. In fact, that's where he's spent the entirety of his career thus far.
Although he's long been a highly rated talent, Elliott's progress was hampered by injuries a few years ago. However, he bounced back and showed fine form for Chelsea last season, grabbing four goals and six assists in 26 appearances across league and Papa John's Trophy in 2022/23. He was rewarded with a senior call-up for Cameroon this summer.
And the exciting thing now is that he's just turned 20, playing as well as he has in years, incredibly influential in one of the most in-form U21 teams in the country, and there's still plenty of time to bring him along to a top-level senior career for a manager who trusts him.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) November 23, 2022
We think you’ll enjoy this. Have a listen. One of our academy players speaking. pic.twitter.com/w3GcBNC2g2— The Chelsea Spot (@TheChelseaSpot) August 14, 2023
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
"Ben is a fantastically talented footballer, who was understandably attracting serious attention from a host of clubs in England and overseas.
“He's desperate to demonstrate what he can do to impact first-team football matches and we're delighted that we have been able to bring him to Reading and to give him that opportunity to impress. And he fits the mould of the type of player we want - eager to work hard, keen to keep learning, and with a desire to be successful with Reading."
Welcome to Berkshire Ben!