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The Royal State Of Affairs: Full-Backs

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In 2014 two full-backs were voted into the top three for Reading FC's player of the season but how has the quality held up since then and does Steve Clarke need to add reinforcements?

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What we've lost

Since last summer we've lost Shaun Cummings who sold to Millwall while Stephen Kelly's contract has now run out at the Madejski. Short-term signing Jure Travner has also departed the club and part-time full-back option Jem Karacan looks likely to join him out of the door.

What we've got now

2014 Player of the Season Jordan Obita had a solid yet unspectacular season as did the man that also finished in the top three that year Chris Gunter. Stephen Kelly remains in talks with the club though at 31 and with a European Championships around the corner it's unlikely he'll want to commit to the club to likely sit on the bench again.

In the youth ranks we've got Sean Long and Niall Keown who both made first team appearances last season, with Keown earning himself a start along the way.

Utility wise and Jake Taylor played some friendlies at right back in 2010 but hasn't played there since while Anton Ferdinand has also done a job there in those bygone days when he was actually able to stay fit.

What we need

If Obita and Gunter both stay then it's going to be hard to convince a first team quality player to join the club and with our budget presumably tight there are positions in much greater need of strengthening. However, Steve Clarke might fancy playing Obita further forward which could open up a vacancy at full-back.

You'd imagine the three younger players mentioned would all be given the chance to impress during pre-season but it wouldn't do the club any harm to invest in a young full-back who could put pressure on both Gunter and Obita moving forward. Alternatively Clarke might opt to use the loan system as cover rather than go out and invest funds on a long-term replacement.

Priority rating this summer?

Low