Reading have bolstered their defensive options with the free signing of Tyler Bindon, most recently of Los Angeles FC. He’s an 18-year-old American centre-back who is, it seems, eligible to represent both the United States and New Zealand.
Despite being right-footed, this article has Bindon down as a left-sided centre-back. It adds:
“Tyler is a tall and lean centre-back that has shown the ability to perform well in a high line in space. Tyler shows a lot of poise, calm and aggressiveness as a centre-back, a combination that you really like to see from a defender. Tyler also shows a great ability to pass out of the back with both of his feet with accuracy.”
This deal has been quite a while in the making. Interestingly, a post on this forum about young New Zealanders playing football in other countries claimed five months ago that Bindon was set for a move to England - and his family had already headed across the Pond. Reading’s announcement further noted that Bindon had been “training with the Royals in the second half of last season”.
Bindon was later spotted during Reading’s pre-season trip to Spain, although not officially named by the club. He subsequently made various friendly appearances for the Royals, playing in front of fans for the first time in the 2-0 loss at Sutton United.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
“Tyler is a bright lad both on and off the football pitch who has the work ethic and determination for a successful career in the sport.
“It was clear very early on that we wanted to bring him in, but we have all had to be very patient to get this deal done. So we are extremely happy to have fended off serious interest from high-profile clubs, finalised the deal, and see him join us – and we look forward to seeing him develop and learn at this club.”
At this stage it’s too early to tell if Bindon will be primarily a first-team or academy player this season. Due to his age and lack of experience you’d suspect the latter, but then again, there’s nothing in the official statement to back that up. Instead, his arrival’s been presented like that of the Royals’ other summer additions.
He’s the second centre-back to join Reading this summer, following Harlee Dean at the end of last week. They’ll be competing for game time with Tom Holmes, Tom McIntyre, Jeriel Dorsett, Nelson Abbey and Amadou Mbengue, although the latter could well be used elsewhere instead - at right-back or in midfield.
You’d think therefore that Reading are probably done for centre-back reinforcements now, unless of course Bindon is being thought of as a young player, or there’s a really good opportunity out there somewhere on the market.
Otherwise, Reading have previously brought in Harvey Knibbs, Sam Smith, Lewis Wing, Charlie Savage and Tivonge Rushesha. Next up is probably a new goalkeeper, with Joel Pereira and David Button both linked with a free transfer to Reading.