Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that 28-year-old forward Sone Aluko has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Madejski Stadium to complete a transfer from Fulham for an undisclosed fee.
Aluko, who proved a vital cog in Fulham’s charge into a top six spot last season, completed his medical with the Royals earlier today and committed his future to Jaap Stam’s side until 2021 by signing for the Royals this evening.
Manager Jaap Stam said, “In Sone, we welcome a quality player into our squad. With his pace and ability on the ball, he can make life difficult for every opponent we face this season and he has experience of playing at the level we want to play at.
“He poses a threat going forward, he keeps the ball well, he can play as a striker or out on the wing and I am sure he will improve us as a squad. So I’m very happy that he has chosen to join us.”
Sone came through the youth ranks at Birmingham City and was named on the bench as a 16-year old for a Premier League meeting with Arsenal at Highbury back in October 2005.
His full professional debut came north of the border however, when he joined Aberdeen on loan. Aluko came off the bench for the Dons in a UEFA Cup clash against Panathinaikos in Greece before scoring in his first league start for the club in a 2-0 home win over Dundee United.
His next goal came against the might of Bayern Munich as the Dons earned a 2-2 draw with the German giants at Pittodrie and he earned a permanent move to Aberdeen on transfer deadline day in 2008.
He scored nine goals in 82(+14) appearances with Aberdeen before signing for Rangers in 2011, where he scored 12 more in just 19 Scottish Premier League starts under Ally McCoist - including a hat-trick in a final day win at St Johnstone in his final appearance for the club.
The pacy forward edged back over the border to sign for Hull City in 2012 and he helped the Tigers achieve promotion to the Premier League in his first campaign on Humberside. Alongside Stephen Quinn and Paul McShane, he helped Hull reach the FA Cup Final in his second campaign in the north-east.
After 109 appearances as a City player, Aluko signed for Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham last summer and scored nine goals in 50 appearances for his new club – including one against the Royals in a Craven Cottage win at the start of December. His campaign ended at Madejski Stadium however as Fulham were denied a trip to Wembley by Yann Kermorgant’s play-off winning penalty last May.
On the international scene, meanwhile, the Hounslow-born forward first accepted an invitation to represent Nigeria’s senior side in a friendly against Republic of Ireland in 2009 and he has scored two goals for his country since – a brace against South Africa in a 2-2 African Cup of Nations qualifier in November 2014.
Now, the 5’8” 28-year-old forward begins a new chapter in his career by joining a Royals squad which is being constructed to hopefully challenge for a top six spot once again this season!
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “Acquiring a player of Aluko’s unquestionable talent demonstrates this club’s ambition and hunger for more success. I am very pleased that Sone has opted to become a part of what we are trying to build here at Reading and I am sure he will prove an exciting addition to our first team squad.”
Sporting Director Brian Tevreden said, “Sone has been a target throughout the summer and I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to get this deal over the line. We are bringing in a very talented player who in the prime of his career at 28 and as our seventh summer signing, Sone will add to a squad which now has ability in abundance and strength in depth.”
Younger brother to England Women star Eniola Aluko, Sone could make his Royals debut in a Madejski Stadium fixture against Bristol City on Saturday 9th September – the first of two home games in four days for the Royals after the international break! He will take squad number 14.