Reading Football Club can announce that 20-year-old Academy graduate Sam Smith has joined League One side Oxford United on loan.
The former Manchester United youngster broke into the Royals’ first team last season and in February this year signed a new long-term contract at Reading, lasting until the summer of 2021. But he will spend the 2018-19 campaign gaining valuable experience under Karl Robinson at the Kassam Stadium.
After signing his first professional contract with the Royals in the summer of 2016, Smith spent a loan spell with Bishop’s Stortford whilst also scoring seven goals for our Under-23s side in 20 appearances for that age group as an 18-year-old.
Sam was included in our squad for the pre-season tour to the Netherlands ahead of the 2017-18 campaign and was named on the bench for the first game of the season away at Queens Park Rangers.
And he made his professional debut when he was named in the starting XI for a fixture against Gillingham in the Carabao Cup that same week. And two weeks later, he had his first goal; Smith finished well to cap a 3-1 cup win over Millwall in extra time.
He scored his first league goal in a 3-2 defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road in March - recording a total of 6(+5) appearances for the Royals last season.
Now, he will look to impress at Oxford alongside a number of former Royals this season – Jamie Mackie, Rob Dickie and James Henry are all on United’s books for 2018-19.
Smith is eligible to make his League One debut when United travel to Barnsley on the opening weekend of the EFL season.
Everyone at Reading Football Club would like to wish Sam the very best of luck during his season on loan with Oxford United.