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Summer Transfer Window 2019

Reading's transfer windows are often nothing special, and on some occasions they're nothing at all. With this window meandering towards the same fate, alongside concerns over Financial Fair Play and 'soft' transfer embargoes, the club somehow went absolutely mad in the last three days to give fans real hope of achieving something this season.

So with that said, here's the 25th round up of the summer's business that you've read.

Ins


Joao Virginia


If there's one position Reading have a seemingly endless amount of depth in, it would be young goalkeepers. So it is a touch surprising that we've loaned in a 19-year-old from Everton to keep instead. That said, in the opening game this season he looked assured with possession, and his distribution was decent. Hopefully when the team improves he'll be given more options, and won't end up having to play a risky pass half the time. As of yet his shot stopping is yet to be really tested, but either way pre-season put him firmly above Walker. With Rafael at the club it will be interesting to see if he keeps the top spot. If he doesn't this would end up being a strange bit of business, but Everton are reportedly paying all his wages so no harm, no foul. I would like to take this opportunity to say that the fact I haven't heard a single John Denver chant is abhorrent and the fanbase should be ashamed of itself.

Michael Morrison


It's always key to have strong characters in your team, and especially at the back, so the capture of the former-Birmingham City captain could be seen as a bit of a coup. Having said that, I don't expect him to play a particularly large role this season; Miazga and Moore are undoubtedly the go-to centre back partnership. To me this signing made a lot more sense before we signed the American. Now, I'm not so sure. He potentially blocks the path to some promising academy graduates (McIntyre, Osho, Holmes) who could have been backup this season. Granted, if there's a long-term injury to either of the first choice options then it'll be good business - and could still come good next season when we probably won't have Miazga.

Charlie Adam


I'll be honest, when this was announced I wasn't feeling it. A 33-year-old midfielder, who had just left a woefully under-performing side, didn't seem to match the young, vibrant side that José Gomes seems keen on building. However, his interview on joining - where he spoke about helping the youngsters and the way he wants to play - was promising. When you combined it with his Twitter activity I was almost looking forward to watching him. And he did well in his first cameo, providing a bit of impetus when he came on against Wednesday. Another that I'm not expecting him to play too much, but I think he may end up being a shrewd bit of business when called upon.

Matt Miazga


As a member of the January Five it's impossible not to see this as anything other than positive. One of the better centre backs at this level, seemingly with a passion for the club. There's basically no downside; he'll be a key player this season. If he can find that partnership with Moore again then they really could be one of the best pairings in the division

Lucas Boyé


The Argentine was playing Champions League football last year, and has minutes in the Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Argentine top divisions. He's never really established himself as a mainstay at any of the clubs he's been at, as of yet - but he did bag six goals for AEK Athens last season. From the brief set of highlights I watched on YouTube he seems to have good technical ability, and the strength to put himself about. I don't think his nickname of 'The Tank' is meant to be ironic. Gomes seemed to suggest that his main position is up front, with the ability to play wide - which will be interesting given the other signings we've made in the window. Personally I'd like to see him on the left of a front three. I reckon that right foot will be dangerous.

Rafael


A BRAZILIAN INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR READING. Admittedly he's another who has mainly been warming the bench in recent years, but before that he was highly rated (hence the international caps). Napoli fans seem to have nothing but praise for the man, mainly for being the hero in a shootout against Juventus. Quite how we managed to convince someone, who was already accustomed to being second choice, to ask for his contract to be terminated to come to Reading I don't know. I can only assume we've promised him the #1 shirt, and, by the looks of his social media posts, he's bought into José's vision. It is very hard not to enjoy that smile. He seems to be a good shot-stopper, and I can only assume that he's good with his feet because otherwise it would be ridiculous to buy him.

Lucas Joao


Talk about playing for a move. He came on on Saturday and showed exactly why any team would be happy to have him. Big, strong, skillful - he frustrated us no end for the twenty minutes he was on the pitch. Sheffield Wednesday fans have mixed things to say, mainly about his consistency. It seems to be the consensus that on his day he's fantastic. I think he's probably been brought in to play a similar role to Meite up front, hopefully with more success. He seems more adept at holding the ball up, plays more key passes (that's right, I've done research for this), and even - importantly - scored more.

Pelé


In the last few seasons Reading have been crying out for Kanté. Or, failing that, an energetic defensive midfielder who can break up play. Rinomhota was a revelation last season, but when he was injured the team fell apart. Even with him in the team he's expected to be everywhere at once. Hopefully Pelé can sit deep and free up those in front of him to push forward a little bit. He seems to have a decent eye for a pass, and I've seen him score penalty after penalty in highlight pacakges.

George Puscas


As someone who didn't follow the European U21 Championships particularly closely this summer this signing has gone slightly over my head but I'm willing to trust the group consensus that he's the best signing we've ever made and he'll fire us to the top of the league. A fairly consistent goalscorer  - he's even got a trademark celebration, decent with the ball at his feet, a bit of pace, and not likely to get brushed off the ball either. It seems a hefty fee for someone who's only really tested at Serie B level. Presumably signed to be the main striker; it would be hard to justify anything else. He doesn't seem to need a partner up front either, which opens up a myriad of possibilities.

Ovie Ejaria


The longest transfer saga in our history finally concluded on deadline day (post-deadline) as OVIE EJARIA, the man who can get out of any situation, returned on loan with an option to buy. Given that a couple of weeks ago - in the mire of our transfer embargo - we went from the favourites to sign the 21-year-old to rank outsiders when we couldn't afford the £3m Liverpool were asking for, this is fantastic business by the club. He showed what an asset he could be last season - and hopefully he'll be the creativity in the middle of the pitch we're looking for.

Outs


Strangely for a club that seemed to need to shift players, there were very few players out the door. Jaakkola, McShane and O'Shea were rightfully released, David Meyler finally departed in a move that's probably best for everyone involved, Marc McNulty headed to Sunderland, and a few u23s also secured loans. I do feel for McNulty in particular, he never really had a run in the team. It does feel like he's slightly too similar to Loader to justify keeping them both (or either of them, apparently).

More interestingly were those who stayed at the club. Gunter and McCleary made numerous matchday squads last year but are firmly transfer listed. I agree with those who believe their treatment has been harsh, but realistically there isn't a lot the club can do. Poor morale has been a real issue in the past few years, and it's not going to improve by having players who have no future in the first team. Even though they're now here until January there's no clear path for them back into the main squad. The players we've brought in are above them in the pecking order - perhaps Gunter could sneak back in if Yiadom picks up an injury.

I heard rumours that the club offered to buy out Popa but he effectively asked for all money owed - which is his prerogative. As an aside, the only thing that worries me about our transfer activity is that we'll end up with more players who rot in the reserves seeing out their contracts. That is never the players' fault. It is the fault of those who offered the contract. Popa played five minutes of football in the past year, and hasn't started a game since September 2017.

Danny Loader was all set to join Wolves on deadline day until we pulled the plug at the last minute. I don't think we'll ever know whether that was down to Dai Yongge keeping him here for some reason, the club upping the price at the last minute, or even the whole deal being dependent on an unlikely loan of Chelsea's Kenedy. This obviously will have alienated Loader, and again I come back to team morale potentially suffering. All the incomings in the last week of the window sees him relegated to the bench at best, and he's in the last year of his contract, so I'm not sure keeping him even really makes sense. Whether Wolves is the right move or not is debatable - but I'm no longer convinced that Reading is either.

Then there's those deals that could see players going out into Europe after our window has shut. Barrow looks to be the most likely to leave permanently, and I'll be sorry to see him go. His partnership with Meite in the final furlong last season was pretty much the sole reason we stayed up. I doubt I'll ever celebrate another goal like when he slotted home at Portman Road. He could still be a real asset on the counter with his pace, but it is true that too often his final ball is wasteful. 

With all the churn I'm not even sure who our best side is any more!

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