Reading Football Club are delighted to confirm that 25-year-old midfielder Josh Laurent has put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Royals, joining the club as a free transfer following the conclusion of a two year stay at League One Shrewsbury Town.
Royals boss Mark Bowen said, “Josh fits the mould as a hungry, vibrant, energetic young midfielder who I am sure will make an impact at Madejski Stadium. A box-to-box style midfielder, Josh is a talented player whose career I have been tracking for some time, so I am delighted to now welcome him to the club.”
The Leytonstone-born midfielder came through the ranks at Wycombe Wanderers and QPR but his first team appearance column began to register in the Conference Premier with Braintree Town before a League Cup appearance for Brentford in August 2015.
Following a short loan stint at Newport County, Laurent moved away from Griffin Park to make a permanent move to League Two Hartlepool United and his first goal came the following season in a home clash with Leyton Orient.
In January 2017, Laurent stepped up to the Championship with a switch to Wigan Athletic, but a loan spell at Bury earned him the regular football his career craved as he made 22 appearances at Gigg Lane.
But it was a move to Shrewsbury in the summer of 2018 that allowed Laurent’s career to progress – making 78(+15) appearances during a two-year contract at New Meadow.
He won a penalty and scored the winner in an FA Cup win at Stoke City in his first season as a Shrew, finding the back of the net in the Fourth Round at Molineux as Town came close to causing another upset away to Premier League Wolves.
And last season he played a part in another FA Cup run for Town, knocking out Bristol City before taking Liverpool to a replay alongside former Royal Dave Edwards in the Shrews midfield.
In high demand, Laurent now makes the move to the Madejski.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe, said “I’m very pleased to welcome Josh to Reading at the start of what I anticipate will be a very busy summer period as we build a new squad for 2020-21. It is encouraging to get this deal over the line early as we look to construct a new squad capable of achieving more next season. I am looking forward to watching Josh take the next step in his career as a Royal.”