Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that versatile defensive midfielder David Meyler has agreed to sign for the Royals on an initial two-year contract with the option of a third year included in the deal. The paperwork will be completed upon the conclusion of his contract at Hull City at the end of this month.
Meyler, who turned 29 only last week, returns from international friendlies against France and the USA to commit his future to the Royals, initially until the summer of 2020. He follows Barnsley skipper Andy Yiadom through the doors at Madejski Stadium as the club look to conduct their business early in what is expected to be a truncated transfer window this summer.
Manager Paul Clement said, “I am very happy to welcome David to the club as our second signing of the summer. He comes here with a lot of experience at this level but also the level above and with his ability and his leadership qualities, David is going to add a lot to our squad.
“At the end of last season, I felt it was important to bring in a player of David’s profile. And when I met with him, I got a real sense of his ambition to play at the highest level again. And, together, we’ll be fighting to push this club forward.”
The Republic of Ireland international came through the ranks with his hometown club Cork City before crossing the Irish Sea to sign for Sunderland as a teenager in 2008.
He broke into the Black Cats’ first team towards the end of their 2009-10 Premier League campaign, debuting in a 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers in December 2009 and featuring regularly for the Stadium of Light side until the summer.
Injury struck impacting Meyler’s stay in Sunderland and although he returned to fitness to string together a number of top tier starts under Martin O’Neill – currently his international manager – he left Wearside for a loan spell at Hull City where he was reunited with his former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce.
He scored three goals in four games during that loan spell, finding the back of the net in wins over Watford, Huddersfield and Leeds during December 2012, and the loan move was made permanent when the window reopened the following month, Meyler signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the Tigers.
That season ended in automatic promotion to the Premier League via a second-placed finish for City and Meyler had also become a regular in the Republic of Ireland squad whilst making his breakthrough in Humberside.
His senior international debut came in a 4–1 win over Oman at Craven Cottage on 11th September 2012 – a game in which former Royals Shane Long, Kevin Doyle and Alex Pearce all scored past Ali Al-Habsi, with Stephen Kelly and Simon Cox also playing a part in that victory!
Back on the domestic scene, Premier League goals against Liverpool and Manchester United helped Hull retain top flight status, while Meyler also scored against former employers Sunderland and then Sheffield United in an FA Cup run that took the Tigers all the way to a Final against Arsenal.
Following relegation, Meyler helped Hull return to the Premier League via a play-off final win against Sheffield Wednesday in 2016 before he flew off to France with Ireland as part of the European Championships squad.
In total, Meyler has 20 caps to his name and amassed a total of 181 appearances as a Hull City player before opting to leave the KC Stadium this summer for a new challenge in RG2 next season.
Royals CEO, Ron Gourlay, said “David is a player with Premier League and international pedigree and he also knows exactly what it takes to get promoted from one of the toughest divisions in the world…the Championship. We are pleased to be completing good business so early in the summer and, following Andy Yiadom’s commitment to the club last month, I am very confident David will be another valuable addition to our squad.”
Technical Director Brian Tevreden added, “By introducing David to the club, we will be adding fight, passion, versatility, experience and crucially a wealth of Championship knowhow to our first team group which I am sure will prove very important when battle resumes in early August.”