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Gunter joins Royals

18 July 2012

Full back bolsters the ranks

The Royals are delighted to announce a second major signing in the space of a few hours with Welsh international Chris Gunter joining on a three-year contract, with the option of a further year.

After signing Adrian Mariappa for a significant fee earlier in the day, the Club have again made a sizeable outlay to bring 22-year-old Chris to Madejski Stadium.

Chris moves to Berkshire from Nottingham Forest, and he has exceptional experience despite his tender age. He first came through the ranks at Cardiff in his native south Wales, and then earned a move to Tottenham before a switch to Forest, where he again showed his quality and has been named by his fellow professionals as one of the very best in his position.

Chairman Sir John Madejski said, "This has been quite a day for our club, and I would now like to offer a very warm welcome to Chris Gunter.

"With both him and Adrian signing today, we have added two excellent young players, and they both fit into our ethos in terms of mentality, stature and their standing in the game. They both have their best footballing years ahead of them, and Chris already has experience for his country as well. I am sure our supporters will join me in wishing him the very best of luck."

Director of Football Nick Hammond said, "Chris has a fantastic record for a 22-year-old, both in terms of the number of games he has played and his international experience. People tend to think he's older than he actually is because he moved to Tottenham at such a young age.

"He's still got an enormous amount of development ahead of him, and as with Adrian, because of Forest's change in ownership it has taken until now. Chris has been a target of ours since the very start of the summer. With Chris and Adrian signing today, we've added two players who have great experience for their age."

Manager Brian McDermott said, "I'm absolutely delighted that Chris has signed. He was very, very keen to come to us and is another player who is young and very hungry. He's already played more than 200 games at club level, plus another 37 for his country, which is phenomenal for someone so young. Chris already knows our club well, he is very close to Garath McCleary, knows our Welsh players and I also know he met many of our squad over the summer too.

"As with all the players we have brought in this summer they will improve and get better, and the most important thing is their hunger and desire. With all the business we've done this summer we think we've improved the quality in the squad considerably."

Gunter said, " "If you form a team spirit, a togetherness, you'll always do well in football - and if you work hard you'll get your rewards. Reading have certainly done that in the last few years. Hopefully that can carry on. Right now, I need to focus on impressing everyone at this club and I'm really excited to get going."

Having spoken to the manager, Nick Hammond and the Chairman today, everyone has made me feel really welcome and I'm really looking forward to this opportunity.

Chris has been a Welsh international since under 17 level, and was the youngest ever Welshman to play for their under 21s at only 16 years old.

He was named the Football League's Apprentice of the Year in 2007, and his promise earned him a big move to Tottenham, for whom he made his debut in an FA Cup tie against Reading.

He then joined Forest, initially on loan, and has played the best part of 150 games for the City Ground side, also being named in the 2009-10 Championship team of the year. He now departs the east Midlands to move back to the Barclays Premier League with Reading.

The deal is subject to the normal ratification of paperwork, and his squad number will be confirmed in due course.

See the first interview with Chris on Reading FC Player now, as well as Adrian's very first video chat.

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