Interesting snippets about new forwardThe Royals completed the signing of Matej Vydra on transfer deadline day on a season-long loan from Watford. Here are some interesting titbits that you might not have known about our new arrival.
1. He is a former Championship Player of the Season
The Czech forward took to English football like a duck to water when he first moved to Watford in 2012. Initially on loan from Udinese, the forward netted 24 times for club and country across 51 appearances in 2012/13 – he netted twice in the play-off semi-final as the Hornets overturned a first leg deficit to Leicester, but they lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in the final. He was later named Championship Player of the Season for a tremendous campaign.
2. He was once named ‘Revelation of the Season’
The Club of Sport Journalists voted Vydra as the ‘Revelation of the Season’ in 2010, during a spell at Banik Ostrava. His involvement after joining in the January transfer window from Vysocina Jihlava as a 17-year-old helped Banik to third in the table that year – just two points behind champions Sparta Prague. He netted four times in 14 appearances for his new club, and secured a move to Italian Serie A outfit Udinese that summer. Other players previously named ‘Revelation of the Season’ include Rudi Skacel, formerly of Southampton, and ex-West Brom man Roman Bednar.
3. He is a full international for Czech Republic
Vydra, now 23, has been wearing the national team jersery since Under-16 level, and finally got a call-up to the senior squad in August 2012 at the start of his first spell in England. He was named in the starting XI for a game that ended goalless against Denmark, and his first two goals for the Czech senior team came in a 3-0 win against Armenia later that season. Czech Republic currently sit second in Group A of qualifying for Euro 2016, and he has featured in 2-1 wins against Netherlands and Turkey.
4. He had a brief loan spell at Club Brugge
As well as playing at home in Czech Republic, in Italy for Udinese and in England for Watford and West Brom, Vydra also had a brief spell in Belgium. Before he first arrived in England, the striker moved to the Jan Breydel Stadium to join Club Brugge. Unfortunately a knee injury sustained just three weeks into his spell with the Belgian outfit meant an early return to Udine, but a full recovery precipitated his success in England.
5. Steve Clarke has been his manager before
Current Royals boss Steve Clarke has previously worked with new-boy Matej Vydra, when the pair were both at West Bromwich Albion in the 2013/14 season. It was Clarke who offered Vydra a first opportunity to play Premier League football by bringing him in to the Hawthorns, his second loan spell in English football from parent club Udinese.