Fresh off the signing of Dom Ballard, Reading have made another Deadline Day addition! Say hello to Clinton Mola, who’s joined on a free transfer. The 22-year-old defensive player (he can be deployed at the back or in midfield) was most recently at Stuttgart, before being released in late August - a year ahead of his contract’s original expiry date.
Camden-born Mola actually came through the ranks at Chelsea, where he was very highly rated as a young talent.
You don't get many players with his mix of positional versatility, tactical understanding, physical assets and leadership ability. You quickly note the physical traits but it does everything else a disservice; he played next to Guehi this season to pretty much the same standard.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 31, 2020
And that was in a position that was very arguably not his best one, but he was as composed and competent as one of England's brightest CB prospects. Factor in that he's a destructive b2b midfielder with goals in his game and you see why £400k + addons is a good deal for VfB.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) January 31, 2020
However, he made no appearances for Chelsea’s first team before heading off to Stuttgart in 2020 for a fee of around £360,000. He played 14 times in all competitions for Stuttgart and also had a nine-game spell on loan at Blackburn Rovers last season, but failed to establish himself at either club.
Head of football operations Mark Bowen said:
“A left-sided player who is capable of playing in either a holding midfield role or as part of the back line, Clinton has an opportunity to earn consistent first-team football at Reading. He has the ability to make a real impact as a Royal this season and I look forward to following his progress.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Reading intend on using Mola. While versatility is absolutely a good thing to have, it’ll help Mola’s development if he’s able to settle in one position and focus on it. Given that the announcement tweet referred to Mola as a left-back, you’d think that’s where he’s set to play, and Reading could certainly use cover and competition for current first choice Matty Carson.
Welcome to Reading Clinton!