Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that experienced Welsh international midfielder Dave Edwards has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Royals, completing a permanent move to the Madejski from Wolverhampton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee.
Edwards bolsters the Royals’ ranks to bring an end to a nine-and-a-half year stay at Molineux which saw him tot up 238(+70) appearances and score 44 goals. He has now committed his future to Reading Football Club until the summer of 2019.
Manager Jaap Stam said, "He’s a great player, he’s got a lot of experience, tactically he’s strong, he has enormous stamina as well...and going forward he has goalscoring ability as well. We've got a number of young players in our squad but we need experienced heads out there too and Dave is another leader with the mentality we are looking for in our players."
His career at Wanderers began with promotion to the Premier League in his first full season in black and gold and he enjoyed three years playing amongst England’s elite in the top tier.
Before becoming a Wolves stalwart, Edwards had risen to prominence with Shrewsbury Town before a season at cash-strapped Luton Town led to a move to Molineux in January 2008. And, five days after the ink had dried on his contract at the club, Edwards made a goalscoring debut in a 2-0 win at Scunthorpe United.
On the international scene, he remains a regular with Chris Coleman’s Wales – qualifying for his country through his father’s Welshpool heritage.
Having made his Wales senior debut in a 2-2 draw against Paul McShane’s Republic of Ireland in Cardiff back in November 2007, Edwards has gone on to earn 39 caps for his country, scoring three goals to date.
The 5’11” midfielder, who after becoming our sixth summer signing will wear squad number 16 for the Royals, made three appearances for Wales in their run to the semi-final stages of the European Championships in France, playing a part in vital group wins over Slovakia and Russia in the summer of 2016.
Dave will join Chris Gunter to form part of a Welsh squad who next week take on Austria in Cardiff and then travel to Moldova for the second of two crucial World Cup qualifiers. But, upon his return to the UK, the 31-year-old will head to Hogwood Park in preparation for a potential Royals debut against Bristol City at Madejski Stadium.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “It is always so important to strike the right balance between youth and experience within a squad and, with more than 500 career appearances to his name already - earned with both club and country - Dave adds experience in abundance to this group of players. And, crucially, he is hungry for more success as a Royal and we look forward to welcoming him to the club after he returns from international duty with Wales!”
Sporting Director Brian Tevreden added, “I am very pleased to welcome a midfielder with proven Championship and Premier League pedigree into our group and, as a player who has been a key part in the cut and thrust of many campaigns with Wolves, I am confident he will be a valuable addition to the squad here at Reading.”