Reading have confirmed another departure, this time that of Nesta Guinness-Walker. The 24-year-old left-wing-back is off to fellow League One side Stevenage on loan until the end of the season.
This deal will take him to the end of his contract with the Royals. Guinness-Walker originally signed a one-year deal in the summer of 2022, but then put pen to paper on a 12-month extension following relegation from the Championship, after an encouraging first season in Berkshire.
Unfortunately he couldn’t replicate it in League One. Guinness-Walker began 2023/24 as Reading’s first-choice left-back in the 4-2-2-2, starting the first two matches of the season, but lost his place following a dire all-round performance at Port Vale that also led to the removal of Tom Holmes, Andy Carroll and others from the side.
While Guinness-Walker returned to the side later, getting eight games in all competitions across October and November as Reading scrambled around for a first-choice left-back, he didn’t stick around. Ultimately Jeriel Dorsett has made that spot his own in the last few months, while Clinton Mola and Amadou Mbengue have also played there, so getting Guinness-Walker’s wages off the books is a boost financially without impacting the quality or depth of the first team.
This is seemingly the end of Guinness-Walker’s Reading career. Although he’s had a poor season all round for us, he’s still at the level of League One football, so for his sake he can hopefully prove that at Stevenage. Ultimately though he has to play in the right system - ideally as an attack-winded left-wing-back - and the Royals couldn’t offer him that consistently enough.
Stevenage boss Steve Evans said:
“We are delighted to get Nesta into the Stevenage dressing room. He is a young man with a fantastic attitude and great ability. He can play anywhere down the left-hand side of the pitch, adding a balance we have needed for some time”.
Guinness-Walker’s exit follows that of Tom Holmes, who was sold to Luton Town last week before rejoining Reading on loan. Nelson Abbey is also seemingly on the verge of being sold to Olympiakos, while other players could join them in leaving the club.
Best of luck Nesta.