Czech forward joins Steve Clarke's side for seasonReading Football Club are delighted to announce the season-long loan signing of highly-rated Czech international striker Matej Vydra.
The 23-year-old, who was named the Championship’s best player in 2013, has been one of Royals boss Steve Clarke and the club’s top targets for some time, and he has put pen to paper on a season-long loan from Watford.
Vydra has scored 38 goals in 86(+15) games for Watford at an impressive rate of one goal notched every 141 minutes, and his overall career record reads 49 goals in 83(+50) games at a rate of one every 150 minutes.
Manager Steve Clarke said, “When I heard last week that it might be possible for Matej to come out of Watford on loan I immediately made him my priority target. Thanks to a lot of effort and great backing from the owners we now have in our squad for this season a proven Championship goalscorer.
“I don’t need to highlight Matej’s qualities as they are there for all to see. This is a signing that should excite everyone connected with Reading and I look forward to working with Matej for a second time.”
Having come through at Vysočina Jihlava in his native Czech Republic, he moved to one of his homeland’s top clubs Banik Ostrava before a switch to Udinese in Serie A in 2010.
Vydra was loaned to Club Brugge and then Watford, where he really made his mark with 22 goals in this division. A loan move to the Premier League followed with West Bromwich Albion, but his time at the Hawthorns was hampered by an injury which hindered his playing time out on the Hawthorns pitch under Steve Clarke.
He then returned to Watford last season, scoring another 16 goals as the Hornets were promoted back to the Premier League. He signed a new five-year deal at Vicarage Road this summer, but will be eligible to pull on the blue and white hoops of Reading after the international break, and we wish him the best of luck here at Madejski Stadium.
Director of Football Nick Hammond said, "We are delighted to have secured Matej's signature. We have had to work very hard on this deal, given the amount of interest in him as a recognised goalscorer in the Championship.
"We are very pleased to have a player of his quality, and his goalscoring record in this division speaks for itself. I would like to thank Scott Duxbury, the Chief Executive at Watford, for the manner in which lengthy negotiations were handled.
Matej is the tenth arrival of a very busy summer at Madejski Stadium. With a number of players leaving at the end of last season, we have now added Vydra, as well as Orlando Sa, Paolo Hurtado, Jonathan Bond, Ali Al-Habsi, Alex Fernandez, Paul McShane, Stephen Quinn, Andrew Taylor and Lucas Piazon.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe added, “Bringing Matej to Madejski Stadium is a real statement of intent from the club. Proven goalscorers of his calibre at this level of football are hard to come by and so we faced tough competition to secure Matej’s signature. But the board have worked extremely hard to get this deal over the line and ensure this squad has added more vital fire power to its armoury for the long season ahead.”
Watch the first full interview with new signing Matej Vydra exclusively on Reading FC PlayerHD below.