Tommy Elphick, one of our winter-window recruits, has certainly done his due diligence on making sure that the Royals are the club for him.
A centre-half and a natural leader – captain at Brighton, Bournemouth and Aston Villa – he is looking forward to working alongside manager Jaap Stam, one of the all-time greats in that position.
“Reading is a massive football club, and although things haven’t quite gone as we would have liked this season so far, it’s a progressive club,” Elphick explained. “New owners who are investing; a young manager who has a vision and a philosophy – that’s hard to come by.
“It’s easy to go against when things aren’t going your way, but trust me, the club and the players are lucky to be getting the information and freedom that they’re getting to go and play and playing an attractive way – the way I believe the game should be played.
“As a player, Jaap was immense. And when I first started watching football he made a big impression on me. I’m just really looking forward to adding to the group and working with the manager on a daily basis.”
He also hopes to be able to add his influence on and off the pitch; Elphick managed to help the team for the first win in a while after debuting from the bench against Burton.
“It’s noticeable that the lads have been a bit low on confidence,” he continued. “The main aim for me is to come here and make a difference. Leadership is one of my skills, and sometimes when you’re on a bad run you can forget that you’re a good player.
“I’ve been there enough times myself – nothing is easy and straightforward in football. Sometimes you need ugly wins like we did against Burton to come out the other side and hopefully go on a little run!”
Elphick could debut this Saturday against Millwall… so make sure you’re at Madejski Stadium for the game! Adult tickets begin at £20 – more details are available by clicking the banner below.