Reading have a new goalkeeper! Welcome to Berkshire, David Button. The 34-year-old stopper has joined on a permanent deal from West Bromwich Albion, who released him from his contract on Tuesday afternoon. He’s signed a two-year deal.
The move was first rumoured in late July, when it was reported by Alan Nixon that Reading were close to an agreement. That was before the second embargo came to an end though, which presumably held the transfer back from completion. Football Insider then claimed on August 7 that the deal was done.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen emphasised Button’s experience, playing up the value of Button to Reading’s younger ‘keepers:
“In securing David’s signature, we are bringing in an immensely experienced goalkeeper who has nous, know-how and quality. He is a model pro who will raise the standard for the team, both on the pitch and around the training ground.
“He’s keen to help some of our young goalkeepers learn, but most importantly he wants to prove himself as the prime candidate for the starting position.”
Button is an experienced ‘keeper in English football, having racked up hundreds of appearances across the Championship, League One and League Two. Before his three-year stint with the Baggies, Button turned out for a whole host of clubs on loan from original club Tottenham Hotspur, before then playing for Charlton Athletic, Brentford, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion on a permanent basis.
However, Button hasn’t been a proper first-team regular since 2016/17, when he played 40 times for a Fulham side that was knocked out of the playoffs by Reading. Before you check, no, he wasn’t the guy Yann Kermorgant put the penalty past. Instead, Button’s been more of a back-up option in recent years. You’d think therefore that he’ll be coming to Reading with expectations of regular first-team football.
Button is the Royals’ eighth signing of the summer so far. He follows Harvey Knibbs, Sam Smith, Lewis Wing, Charlie Savage, Tivonge Rushesha and Tyler Bindon. Reading might not be done for ‘keeper additions just yet though as Joel Pereira has also been strongly rumoured to be joining the club. If both players end up coming in, you’d think the Royals are set for multiple exits, starting with Dean Bouzanis, who’s yet to consistently impress.
Otherwise, the Royals can also count on a few young ‘keepers with potential. Coniah Boyce-Clarke put in a strong performance in Reading’s 4-0 trouncing of Millwall on Tuesday night, while Jokull Andresson has some lower-league pedigree after a number of loan spells, and Harvey Collins isn’t too far off a breakthrough either.