We are very pleased to announce that Southampton winger Josh Sims has today finalised a deal to join the Royals on a season-long loan.
Sims, 21, already has Premier League and Europa League experience with the Saints, as well as international caps with England up to the Under-20 age-group… and now links up with Reading to add another attacking option to the squad.
Royals boss Paul Clement said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to bring Josh here on a season-long loan. He first came to my attention playing in the Premier League when I was manager at Swansea, and as soon as he came off the bench for Southampton I immediately noticed his athleticism and energy.
“He is a talented young player that can play on either side, he is a hard worker with a lot of ability and potential, and I’m delighted that he’s joining us at Reading.”
Born in Yeovil, Sims joined the Saints’ Academy in 2011 and rose through the ranks on the south coast to eventually earn his spot in the senior team.
And when he got that first-team chance, his impact was immediate. Drafted in for a surprise start for the Saints against Everton in November 2016, he had an assist within a minute of kick-off on his debut as he set up Charlie Austin for what would be a match-winning goal.
The youngster would go on to make a total of 13 appearances for the Saints’ senior team in his maiden campaign – that included getting the nod on the European stage for a Europa League tie against Hapoel Be’er Sheva, as well as providing the assist for former Royal Shane Long in their EFL Cup semi-final win against Liverpool.
Last season Sims combined appearances in Southampton’s Under-23 side in Premier League 2 with some top-tier action for their first team after Christmas as the Saints successfully avoided the drop.
He arrives at Madejski Stadium having represented the Saints U23s twice already this season, in wins against Middlesbrough and Dinamo Zagreb.
Sims also has two honours on the mantlepiece at youth level – he was part of the Saints squad which won the U21 Premier League Cup in 2015, as well as winning the UEFA European Under-17 Championship with the Young Lions in 2014.
Reading Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said: “Even at a young age, Josh has shown that he is a winner and very capable of providing a positive impact on matches at the highest level. We are confident that he can add some cutting-edge to our play and to play an important role in what will be a fruitful season for Reading.”
Technical Director Brian Tevreden added: “Josh is a bright, talented young player who is keen to make an impact – as he has already demonstrated during his time with Southampton. His qualities will be a welcome addition to Paul’s squad and extend our range of options in the attacking third of pitch.”
Subject to the usual ratification by the relevant football authorities, Josh will be available for selection for Wednesday evening’s fixture at Blackburn Rovers.
He will wear the number 19 shirt for the Royals.