A review of our incoming transfers in this window…Once again it has been a busy summer of recruitment at Reading as we have aimed to strengthen the squad to compete on all fronts for another challenging campaign. Not only did we appoint a new manager in the form of Jaap Stam, but 11 players have come through the door as well!
With the first month of action out of the way, we have 7 points on the board in the Championship and have secured our place in the third round of the EFL Cup. That progress has already been influenced by the summer recruits which arrived before the transfer window shut on Wednesday – so we’ve rounded up our transfer activity…
22-year-old Gravenberch – who can play in both defence and midfield – was our first signing over the summer. The Amsterdam-born man linked up with the club from FC Dordrecht in May and is continuing his return to full fitness after picking up a small injury in pre-season. He debuted for the first team in our EFL Cup win against MK Dons, as well as featuring in Under-23 games against Arsenal and Everton.
Joey van den Berg
Our second arrival was Joey van den Berg – another Dutchman capable of operating as a midfielder or defender – as he linked up with the club from Heerenveen. Playing at centre-half, he helped the team to clean-sheets in each of our first two games against Preston and Plymouth and bagged his maiden goal against the latter. A second yellow against Brighton resulted in a red and a subsequent suspension, but he returned to man the midfield in our 1-0 win in Cardiff.
Striker Mendes is another that has had to battle back to fitness after picking up a knock in pre-season – after looking lively in some of our friendly games, a small injury kept him sidelined until his competitive debut from the bench in Newcastle. The Frenchman, who joined from Le Havre, played the entire two hours on his full debut in a cup win over MK Dons, and scored the winner from the spot for a young Royals side in a 3-2 win against Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy.
Finnish stopper Jaakkola has been back-up to Ali Al-Habsi in each of our Championship fixtures so far, but has already impressed in his cup opportunities. The 29-year-old moved across the equator to join the Royals, having spent the last three years with Ajax Cape Town. He kept a clean-sheet on his debut against Plymouth in the EFL Cup, before making an important save in the penalty shoot-out in our spot-kicks win in the next round against MK Dons – then he captained a young side to victory against Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy.
Aged 21 and already with 36 youth caps to his name for England, midfielder Swift has made an immediate contribution. He linked up with the squad during pre-season training in the Netherlands and after netting an equaliser on his Madejski Stadium debut in pre-season against AFC Bournemouth, he struck the following week against Preston as well to give us a winning start to the new campaign. Swift also won a penalty against Newcastle, assisted Joey van den Berg’s goal against Plymouth and struck another against Brighton in an eye-catching first month with his new club.
Dutch wide-man Roy Beerens made his first move into English football to join the Royals last month, having previously represented PSV, Heerenveen and AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands and most recently Hertha Berlin in Germany. He has started in six of our competitive seven games to date since linking up with the club, and in the other – against MK Dons – he was substituted on as early as the 21st minute. The winger – capped once for his country – has already shown glimpses of what he can do with his quick feet, and he struck his first goal for the Royals against Argyle.
Meite traded Paris for Berkshire to join Jaap Stam’s side at the end of July. The pacey attacker, who can operate anywhere in the front line, was a regular with Paris Saint-Germain’s youth side on their journey to the UEFA Youth League final last year, where he scored in a defeat to Chelsea. The 20-year-old – who has represented Ivory Coast up to U20 level – debuted against Plymouth as a substitute, before making further appearances from the bench at Wolves and Newcastle.
Former Charlton winger Callum Harriott joined the Royals the day before the start of the season, and debuted the very next day in our 1-0 win against Preston. And then the next week he made his first start in the EFL Cup against the Pilgrims – and he made a cracking contribution in the next round against MK Dons by hitting a couple of stunning goals, his first two for the club.
Liechtenstein international Wieser is yet to debut for the senior squad after linking up with the club in August, but hit the net in spectacular fashion in our Under-23s’ win against Man City as he whipped a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the net. He linked up with Reading having most recently been on the books with Swiss outfit FC Thun, and is currently away on duty for his country for their games against Denmark and Spain.
Our long pursuit of defender Moore ended successfully as he was officially unveiled as a Royal on the day that we drew 2-2 with Brighton in the Championship. He debuted three days later in our EFL Cup win against MK Dons, and then helped a new-look defence to a clean-sheet in a 1-0 win in the Welsh capital as Cardiff were vanquished. The 23-year-old linked up with Reading from Premier League champions Leicester City on a four-year deal.
Defender Blackett became our 11th senior signing of the summer window as he made the move from Manchester United to join former Red Devil Jaap Stam at Madejski Stadium, penning a four-year deal. He was in attendance in our 2-2 draw with Brighton in the Championship, and then helped our defence to keep Cardiff at bay in our 1-0 win before the international break. He made 12 senior appearances for United before opting to continue his career with us in Berkshire.