A look at our new signings over the summer windowWe have welcomed 11 new additions to the Royals ranks this summer – business began at the end of June and ran right through until the close of the transfer window at 6pm on Tuesday.
With a number of players departing at the end of last season, there has been a lot of activity at Madejski Stadium in both directions and here’s a round-up of the summer signings that have come through the door…
Portuguese forward Sa was the first addition to the Royals squad over the summer, scoring his first goal in a Reading shirt at the weekend in the 3-1 away victory at Brentford. The 27-year-old signed a three year contract on June 29th, joining the Royals from Legia Warsaw. Sa was the Polish club’s top goal scorer in the Ekstraklasa in 2014/15 and has led the line since his arrival.
Second through the door at Madejski Stadium over the summer was Ireland international Stephen Quinn when he joined the day after Sa. The midfielder signed as a free agent, having featured heavily for Hull City in the Premier League and making 28 appearances for the Tigers in 2014/15. The 29-year-old has 13 international caps to his name and has been a pivotal part of Reading’s midfield so far this season.
Days later, another Irishman made the move from Hull when defender Paul McShane put pen to paper on a three year contract at Madejski Stadium on July 2nd. McShane, having left the KC Stadium at the end of the 2014/15 season, was named as Royals captain by Steve Clarke ahead of the season’s opener at Birmingham City and has helped the team keep three clean sheets already. McShane, who has played the majority of his career in the Premier League, is also a well-established international for Ireland with 31 appearances for his country.
Goalkeeper Bond penned a three-year deal with the Royals on July 4th, making him the club’s fourth addition of the summer. The England youth international stopper had a successful year in 2014/15, playing a part in Watford’s promotion to the Barclays Premier League. The 22-year-old also earned a call up the England Under-21 side for the European Championships in the summer. He has started all five of the Royals’ league fixtures to date.
After the squad returned from Thailand, the Royals secured the services of a second goalkeeper in the form of Omani international Ali Al-Habsi. The veteran keeper, who had made the trip to the Far East whilst training with the Royals, signed a two-year contract with Reading and bringing with him a wealth of Premier League experience. He has previously made over 100 appearances for Wigan in England’s top division, and was named the Latics’ Player of the Season in 2011.
Another man with Wigan connections, Andrew Taylor followed Al-Habsi to Madejski Stadium when he signed on a season-long loan from the Latics on August 5th. The left-back, who was part of the famous Middlesbrough FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2003/04, went on to make nearly 100 Premier League appearances for the Teesiders and has added experience to the Royals back line. His debut came in the League Cup win at Colchester United, and his Championship debut came away at Sheffield United.
Peruvian winger Paolo Hurtado joined the Royals camp on August 12th, signing from Portuguese outfit Pacos de Ferreira. Hurtado agreed a three-year deal with Reading and used his considerable talents to help Pacos qualify for the Champions League in 2012/13 for the first time in the club’s history. The 25-year-old has international experience with Los Incas, and was involved in this year’s Copa America, and was named in the matchday 18 for the first time away at Brentford.
The deal for Alex Fernandez to join Reading on a season-long from La Liga outfit Espanyol was confirmed on August 18th, and the 22-year-old midfielder made his debut for the Royals as a substitute in the Sky Bet Championship 0-0 home draw with MK Dons. Along with brother Nacho, Alex came through the famous Real Madrid academy made a number of appearances for Real Madrid Castilla before earning a move to Espanyol. He featured for the Catalan outfit in the pre-season draw at Madejski Stadium at the start of August, and made the switch to the Royals soon after.
Chelsea youngster Lucas Piazon joined the Royals on a season-long loan the day before the close of the transfer window, adding attacking options to Steve Clarke’s squad. Piazon is a well-travelled forward, even at a young age, having had loan stints in Spain, Netherlands and Germany where he played for Malaga, Vitesse and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively. Piazon has won the FA Youth Cup with Chelsea and also scored the goal that secured Brazil a bronze medal at the Pan American Games this summer – he has represented Brazil as a youth player since Under-15 level.
Czech international Matej Vydra became signing number ten for Steve Clarke when he moved to Madejski Stadium on transfer deadline day, sealing a season-long loan move from Watford. The forward, who was named as Championship Player of the Season during his first spell in England as a Hornets player, and played under Clarke’s guidance in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion. He moved to Vicarage Road on loan against last year for a second time and helped to fire the Hornets back to the top flight.
The final player to join the Royals before the transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday evening was Dutch winger Ola John, who also joined on loan for the season from Benfica. The 23-year-old had been at the Primeira Liga club for three seasons, and his last contribution for the side was to net the winning goal in the final of the Taça da Liga, the Portuguese League Cup. Previously he had come through the academy of FC Twente, like brother Collins John, and spent time on loan with Hamburg. A regular for the Netherlands’ youth teams, he also has a senior cap to his name against Italy in 2013.
Also this summer we brought in young frontman Rowan Liburd from Billericay Town, and he has already registered three goals in three games for our under 21s. Portuguese attacker Lisandro Semedo also arrived from Sporting Lisbon and has too found the net for our under 21s already.