Task one for Paul Clement was keeping the Royals in the Championship – mission accomplished. Stage two is assembling a side ready for the big kick-off in August as 2018/19 gets going.
The first piece of the jigsaw is Andy Yiadom’s arrival – the defender agreed to join the Royals this week upon the expiration of his Barnsley deal… and the gaffer is delighted with the coup.
“I’m very happy that Andy is joining Reading as my first signing since I’ve been here,” said Clement.
“He is someone that I’ve known for a while, and whose progress I was tracking when I was at Swansea. So I’m very happy that he has joined us on a long-term contract.
“He comes here with valuable experience of the Championship – he’s a good age too, and he has the right desires and ambitions which will help us to move forward with this club.
“Over the course of this window there will be some things that we try to do quickly, especially when there are good players available on free contracts – and of course some of our business will go late. But we’re delighted to get one over the line so early.”
It isn’t just on-the-pitch attributes that Clement is looking for. The off-field contribution and leadership that Yiadom will bring – typified by being captain at Barnet and Barnsley – is equally relevant.
“One of the things that I want to work on with the team is developing a strong leadership group,” Clement continued.
“We want to bring in players that are mature and driven – and it helps if they have experience as captains at other clubs too.”