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Aaron Tshibola

Born: 2nd January 1995 
Nationality: English 
Position: Midfielder 
Royals first-team debut: Nottingham Forest 4-0 Reading – 23/08/14 
Appearances: 8(+9)
Goals: 0 

Tshibola’s Story:
An adept and composed presence in the centre of midfield, Tshibola joined up with the Royals’ Academy at the age of 13 after moving from his home in East London. 

He signed a professional contract with the club alongside Aaron Kuhl in March 2011, having already scored three times during a handful of appearances for our U18s side.  

Towards the end of the 2011/12 season his performances had engrossed the interests of Manchester United, so much so that he played as a guest player for the Red Devils alongside fellow Academy graduate Jake Cooper in a tournament in Amsterdam. 

Although still a second year scholar, Tish excelled for the U21s during the 2012/13 season. And under Martin Kuhl’s management the following campaign, he continued to impress as the Royals clinched the first ever U21s Premier League Cup in April. 

Nigel Adkins named the midfielder on the bench for the first time during the 2013/14 season, including him in away trips to Derby, Brighton and Leeds, as well was frequently travelling with the squad for fixtures on the road. 

In June 2014 he penned a new two-year deal with the club, and the following August, Tish made his debut for the first team during an away trip to high-flying Nottingham Forest. 

Come January, relegation threatened Hartlepool United signed him on loan for the remainder of the season, tasked with the challenge of safeguarding League Two football for next season. 

When he arrived at Victoria Park, Pool were firmly anchored to the foot of the table, ten points adrift of safety – this is where the ‘Tshibola effect’ started to take hold. 

Over the space of 23 starts, Hartlepool’s win percentage had rose from 15 to 39, with nine wins and three draws enough to finish the season with 45 points, four clear of the dotted red line. 

A raging success in League Two, he returned to Madejski stadium to feature in Reading's first team plans and put in some fine displays under Steve Clarke until injury hit his season hard.

Beyond the Hoops:
Aston Villa had seen enough of the midfielder to offer him a contract at Villa Park though and big money took him away from Madejski Stadium on a permanent basis in 2016. First team chances were limited amongst a star-studded squad though and he embarked on a short loan spell with Nottingham Forest towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign.