Reading Football Club are delighted to announce the arrival of winger Modou Barrow, who makes a permanent move to Madejski Stadium for an undisclosed fee from Swansea City.
Barrow, 24, completed his medical this afternoon before signing a four-year contract with the Royals. Subject to the normal ratification and international clearance, he will be eligible for selection for Jaap Stam’s side when we visit Queens Park Rangers for the opening fixture of the 2017-18 campaign this weekend.
Reading manager Jaap Stam said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Mo to Reading Football Club and I’m delighted that we have been able to add another player to our squad ahead of the start of the new season. Now all our focus is on the challenge that lies ahead on Saturday and our trip to QPR.”
Born in the Gambia, Barrow and his family moved to Sweden at a young age – and it was there that his fledgling career would begin.
After spending eye-catching spells with amateur sides Mjölby AI and Mjölby Södra during his teenage years – including 23 goals in 19 games for the latter – Norrköping moved to bring the winger directly to Sweden’s top tier.
Stints representing Varbergs BoIS and Östersunds FK followed, before the Swans moved to bring Barrow to the Premier League during the summer of 2014. His debut came that November – making him the first ever player from the Gambia to play in the Premier League!
And Barrow’s introduction to English football could hardly have gone any better – soon after replacing Marvin Emnes, he won the free-kick which Royals Academy graduate Gylfi Sigurdsson would convert to equalise against Arsenal, before Bafetimbi Gomis headed in a winner for the Swans.
That marked the first of 55 appearances which Barrow would make for the South Wales club during his tenure at the Liberty Stadium. A first goal followed in January 2015, netting Swansea’s third in an action-packed 6-2 victory in the FA Cup against Tranmere Rovers.
Barrow has experience of the rigours of Championship football too – over the last three seasons, he has spent loan spells in England’s second tier with Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and, most recently, Leeds United in the latter half of last season.
Returning to the Liberty Stadium in the summer, the winger has been involved in the Swans’ pre-season preparations during the build-up to 2017-18 – which included more than a week spent on the other side of the Atlantic for a training camp and a series of games in the USA.
On the international scene, Mo was first called up for Sweden’s Under-21 squad in March 2015, but would go on to represent the Gambia at senior level later that year – helping his homeland to a 0-0 draw in South Africa during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture on debut.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “We are delighted to have finalised a deal to bring Mo to Madejski Stadium. A lot of hard work is ongoing to try and strengthen Jaap’s squad for the challenges of the season ahead and give us the best possible chance of enjoying another successful year. So I'm pleased that a player of Mo’s calibre has opted to join us at Reading to try to help us achieve our goals.”
Director of Football Brian Tevreden added, “We identified Mo as a player with real ability as well as the potential to flourish and improve even further as a member of this Reading squad. He is a bright and exciting talent and we have every faith that he can make a big contribution at Reading Football Club.”