Crystal Palace forward in on loanThe Royals have agreed a deal with Crystal Palace to sign Ghana international striker Kwesi Appiah on loan for the rest of the season.
Appiah, 24, is highly regarded at Selhurst Park and Steve Clarke has fought off interest from a number of other clubs to secure the frontman’s signature just before the closure of the loan deadline. He becomes our second loan signing in 24 hours, with Nathan Ake having signed from Chelsea yesterday.
“When I looked at our bench during the game at Charlton it was obvious that without Cox and Yakubu we were light on attacking options,” Royals boss Steve Clarke said. “When the opportunity arose to bring Kwesi here until the end of the season I felt it was the right thing to do.
“Kwesi is a striker with different attributes to those already at the club. He hasn’t had too many opportunities since returning to Palace after a successful African Cup of Nations tournament with Ghana and we are hopeful that he will enhance his growing reputation while helping us to finish the season positively.”
The frontman helped Ghana to the final of the African Cup of Nations earlier this year, and was then rewarded with a new contract at Alan Pardew’s Barclays Premier League side.
Appiah began his football career in non-League, and earned a move into the professional game with Peterborough, later moving on to Palace. He has gained plenty of Football League experience out on loan, and scored 16 goals in 33 games for Cambridge United across two loan spells - including eight goals earlier this year.
His form this season earned the striker a call-up to the Ghana squad for the Cup of Nations, and he registered his first goal at international level with a strike in the group stage against Guinea. He played a total of four times in the tournament, starting in the final that ended in an epic penalty shoot-out loss to the Cote D’Ivoire.
He then returned to Palace and could well have been involved in the Premier League this season had the 25-man squad not already been set. But he continued his progress by signing a new two-year deal in south London and he scored a hat-trick for Palace’s under-21 side earlier this month.
Kwesi is currently away on international duty with his country, so will meet up with his Reading teammates next week. He is FA Cup-tied, but will be eligible to face Cardiff at Madejski Stadium a week on Saturday.
The deal is subject to normal ratification by the football authorities.