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A squad modified | Our outs and ins this January

Trimming the squad and injecting fresh blood for the run-in

1 February 2019

There have been plenty of changes to the Royals’ squad during the January transfer window – so we round up José Gomes’ activity as he preened the side for a strong run-in to the season.

Out – transferred

Before the January window had opened, centre-half Axel Andrésson left the Royals to make a permanent switch to Viking Stavanger in Norway, where he had earned promotion in the 2018 to the top tier. Their friendly fixtures begin this Friday and their season at the end of March.

Pelle Clement moved back to his native Netherlands, linking up with former Reading manager Jaap Stam at PEC Zwolle. And fellow midfield man Dave Edwards also went back to his roots, moving to League One side Shrewsbury Town, where he begun his career.

Likewise, it was a homecoming for Tiago Ilori who moved to Sporting Lisbon – the defender came through the Academy ranks in the Portuguese capital and made the move back to where he began his career.

On deadline day, Leandro Bacuna became the last player to leave the club as Premier League outfit Cardiff City came calling for his services, paying an undisclosed fee.

Out – loans

First, not a Royals player being loaned out, but a temporary Reading spell coming to an end – winger Josh Sims returned to parent club Southampton after making 5(+13) appearances for Reading.

Romanian winger Adrian Popa also departed, making a move to Ludogorets until the end of the campaign; the Razgrad-based club currently sit top of the Bulgarian top tier table at the winter break. Also heading into Europe was Darren Sidoel; the Dutchman moved to KSV Roeselare in Belgium until the end of the campaign.

A number of our Academy players have also made the move to clubs in lower leagues. Goalkeepers Lewis Ward and George Legg will now each finish the season at Forest Green Rovers and Boreham Wood.

Striker Sam Smith links up with Dave Edwards at Shrewsbury Town until the end of the season and fellow hit-man Ben House will spend the rest of the campaign with Swindon. And defender Gabriel Osho, who debuted in the Royals’ first team in January, is a Bristol Rovers player for the remainder of 2018-19.

And finally, late on deadline day, David Meyler secured a move to League One club Coventry City and Scotsman Marc McNulty returned north of the border to see out the season as a Hibernian player.

In – loans

Ovie Ejaria was the first name through the door; formerly a loanee at Sunderland and Rangers, the midfield man makes the switch from Liverpool. Soon after arrived Lewis Baker, from Chelsea. He had been a Leeds United player early in the year but will be a Royal for the remainder.

At the start of a busy week, striker Nélson Oliveira joined his new teammates at Hogwood as a loanee from Norwich City. And then Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was next through the door.

Finally, last Friday Chelsea defender Matt Miazga joined his new Royals teammates on the training ground just minutes after penning a deal to join the club until the summer.

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