Reading Football Club can announce that 21-year-old Liverpool midfielder, Ovie Ejaria, has put pen to loan paperwork which will make him a Royal until the end of the 2018-19 season.
Ejaria began a medical this morning and the ink has just dried on a loan switch which brings him to Madejski Stadium. The promising playmaker will train with José Gomes’ first team squad for the first time tomorrow morning.
Royals boss José Gomes said, “In Ovie we have signed a player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, can pass the ball quickly and effectively to make things happen in the final third and who shows a composure which is rare in such a young central midfielder. I am really looking forward to working with him at Reading.”
The Southwark-born midfield man initially joined Arsenal’s Academy in 2005 but at the age of 16 he left the Gunners to join Liverpool in 2014.
Impressing Jürgen Klopp when given his chance to shine in pre-season of 2016, Ejaria was included in club’s tour of the USA and soon after made his professional debut - coming off the bench to replace Roberto Firmino in a comfortable EFL Cup win over Derby County.
In the same competition, Ovie started in victories against Tottenham and Leeds United and he made his Premier League bow in replacing Philippe Coutinho in a 6-1 drubbing of Watford. Ejaria also featured against Plymouth and Wolves in FA Cup ties for the Reds that season.
Last January, the six-foot-tall midfielder spent the second half of the season at Sunderland, playing in the same Black Cats side as John O’Shea and scoring his first professional goal in a 3-0 home win over Wolves in May.
In the summer, former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard swooped to sign Ejaria on loan at Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, the playmaker agreeing to a move north of the border in June.
At Ibrox, he totted up 28 appearances for the side who currently sit alongside Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership, opening his goalscoring account with a league goal at Motherwell just four days before bagging the opener in a 1-1 Europa League draw against Russian Premier League side FC Ufa.
Internationally, Ejaria played a part in the England Under-20 squad’s World Cup win in 2017 - as a teammate of young Royals stopper Luke Southwood, he featured against South Korea, Argentina and Mexico and came home with a World Cup winners’ medal to show for his efforts.
He has since earned a cap for the England Under-21s, playing alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Demarai Gray, Ademola Lookman and Tammy Abraham in a friendly against Romania in March last year.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe added, “This month, we have openly stated our intention to reduce the size of the first team squad whilst aiming to add exceptional quality to our team if the right opportunities in the window arise. A highly-rated England youth international who has competed at the highest level both with Liverpool and during his loan spell with Rangers, I am confident Ovie is capable of injecting that added quality into our midfield and I am delighted to welcome him to Reading.”
Having completed the paperwork on a loan move to the Madejski this evening, Ejaria will take squad number 18 and will link up with his new teammates at Hogwood Park tomorrow morning. He could be in line to make his Royals debut when we host Nottingham Forest at home on Saturday.