Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that winger Ayub Masika has agreed to join the Royals on loan from Beijing Renhe until the end of the season.
Masika has been trialling with Mark Bowen’s first team on the Hogwood Park pitches in recent weeks and has impressed to earn a loan move to RG2 which will end in June 2020.
Royals manager Mark Bowen said, “Masika is a precocious talent with real speed that means he can hurt the opposition in good areas of the field. We’ve had a look at him in training over recent weeks and he’s shown good qualities. He’s catching up on his fitness a little bit with the Chinese league being out of season at the moment, but I think he can be a real asset to us and I’m delighted to have him here.”
The forward was born in Nairobi but also holds Belgian nationality; he learned his trade at Anderlecht from the age of 13 and continued his footballing education in the youth ranks of Beerschot AC before signing professional terms at Genk in 2010.
At Genk, he played alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Benteke and scored his first goal in a Europa League qualifying clash against FC Luzern in August 2012.
Masika went on loan to Lierse in 2014 and made the move permanent two years later, before taking up a new challenge with a transfer to the Chinese capital and Beijing Renhe in 2017.
In the Far East he was in fine form in front of goal, reaching double figures during his spells at Renhe and on loan with Heilongjiang FC in China.
On the international scene, Masika made his Kenya debut against South Africa in October 2012, coming off the bench to play alongside Spurs star Victor Wanyama and against former Royals loanee Bongani Khumalo.
The forward registered his first international goal with a superb free kick against Comoros in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in 2015 and he has scored three more wearing his country’s colours – finding the net against Mauritius, the Republic of Congo and Zambia.
Now, Masika will join the first team group until the end of the current campaign.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe added, “A quick winger with experience of international football and both the Belgian and Chinese top flight, I am very pleased to welcome Masika to the club. I wish him the very best of luck during his loan spell at Reading and look forward to seeing the impact he can make at first team level.”