News and Views

Matej Vydra, Ola John And Michael Hector All Confirmed

01 September 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

As reported earlier today, the expected moves of Matej Vydra, Ola John and Michael Hector have all been completed and confirmed as expected ahead of the close of the transfer window. Vydra arrives from Watford and John arrives from Benfica. Both players have been signed on a season long loan. Meanwhile, centre back Michael Hector becomes Reading's third loan signing of the day after he signed a permanent contract with Premier League Chelsea but was then immediately loaned back for the season. Hector joins new team mate Lucas Piazon who also joined Reading on loan from parent club Chelsea yesterday.

The day's activity means just Michael Hector has left the club permanently this week. The only other completed transfer for the Royals saw young midfielder Aaron Kuhl move to Scottish side Dundee United on loan until January 2016.

While there's no doubt that Steve Clarke and his team have been very busy in the transfer market the result is a side very reliant on loan players. In the space of two days, four players who will expect to feature regularly in the first team this season have arrived on season long loans. In another unusual twist Reading have paid somewhere in the region of 2.5 million pounds to Watford in order to borrow Matej Vydra this season. That money will be funded by the incoming 4 million that Chelsea have shelled out to get Michael Hector on their books.

Whatever the outcome of this season the team looks set to change dramatically again next summer. A promotion of course will mean those players have been successful at Reading and Clarke may try and make some of the moves permanent. Hector of course will be looking to impress at Reading to give himself a chance of breaking into the first team at Chelsea.

Matej Vydra could be the missing piece of the Steve Clarke Reading FC jigsaw. Defensively Reading have been excellent this season, and we've also created chances. However, scoring goals has been a big issue since Clarke arrived at Reading half way through last season.

Vydra is a young, exciting player that is already scoring goals - including plenty in the Championship for Watford. He has had two loan spells at Watford from Italian Serie A club Udinese before signing permanently this summer. His Watford career already includes 38 senior goals. He also has 3 Premier League goals on his record from a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion. Although only 23 he has won 15 senior International caps for the Czech Republic, scoring four goals.

Dutch forward player Ola John is also 23 and another exciting prospect worth far more money than Reading could currently afford. His loan signing is a major achievement for Reading as he has been a feature of Portuguese club Benfica's starting eleven already this season. He also has plenty of experience after signing a five year contract with Benfica in 2012 after arriving from Twente. He has also had a loan spell at Hamburg. Potential is the keyword for both Vydra and John as they arrive at Reading for the season.

Clarke will have plenty of players to choose from - but will need to take care with his team selection. The Football League state in their regulations: "A maximum of 5 loan Players (Standard, International, Emergency or Youth) can be named in the Players listed on a team sheet for any individual match played under the auspices of The League." Clarke may now be using his maximum quota of loan players on a weekly basis as he tries to build his new look Reading FC team. Interesting times should be ahead - and hopefully goalless home fixtures will soon be a thing of the past.

Reading's Loan Players:

  • Matej Vydra (from Watford)
  • Ola John (from Benfica)
  • Michael Hector (from Chelsea)
  • Lucas Piazon (from Chelsea)
  • Alex Fernandez (from Espanyol)
  • Andrew Taylor (from Wigan)

See Also:

Hector Exit And Vydra Arrival Lead Transfer News

01 September 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Striker Matej Vydra has signed from Watford on a season long loan for a 2.2 million pound payment. The fee will also rise over 2.5 million should Reading finish in the play-off positions or better.

Reading fans are waiting for confirmation that Michael Hector has joined Chelsea for four million pounds. Reading are also expected to complete the loan signing of Benfica's Ola John. It has already been probably the most active transfer window ever for the club, and the momentum continued today after yesterday's season long loan signing of Lucas Piazon from Chelsea.

Central defender Michael Hector has been at Chelsea for his medical, and the signing is set to be confirmed shortly. Four million pounds may seem like a bargain for a player of Hector's obvious potential, but it is the kind of offer that the club would find very difficult to turn down. It is expected that Hector will be loaned straight back to Reading, which makes the transfer even more inviting for the Royals. Other outgoing rumours include Nick Blackman to Wolves, but there appears little evidence to back that up.

Other possible incoming transfers include Ola John and Tokelo Rantie. It is being reported that Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie has been spotted at the Madejski Stadium where he is discussing the possibility of a season long loan. Rantie made 12 appearances for Bournemouth last season, but failed to make a league start. His two goals came during Bournemouth's 8-0 thrashing of Birmingham City last year. Rantie arrived at Bournemouth from Malmo but has failed to make an impact while with the Cherries.

Watford's Matej Vydra has been on the rumour list for a couple of weeks, and the discussion has been mostly about another season long loan for the striker. He played a huge part in Watford's promotion out of the Championship last season, hitting 16 goals in 42 appearances. His statistics were even more impressive during his previous loan spell at Watford in the 2012/2013 season when he scored 22 goals in a total of 47 appearances.

Czech Republic International Vydra certainly ticks all the boxes for a proven goal-scorer - so much so that Reading have offered a substantial multi-million pound payment just for the loan signing. Vydra is an impressive signing for Reading in their hunt for a striker - even if it is only initially on a loan basis.

Another rumour, again on loan, is the arrival of Dutch International winger Ola John from Portuguese giants Benfica. Twenty three year old John has already played for the senior Holland side - facing England at Wembley. Benfica signed John from FC Twente in 2012 on a five year deal and he has gone on to make 55 appearances for Benfica. Both John and Vydra are at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

Reading have been putting together a very multi-national side over the summer. That continued with the signing of Lucas Piazon yesterday and Vydra today. However, a bit closer to home was the rumoured arrival of Tom Bradshaw from Walsall. 23 year old Bradshaw has a strike rate of 0.3 goals per game and played for Shrewsbury before Walsall. Bradshaw now looks set to join Bristol City as Reading complete the signing of Matej Vydra.

Steve Clarke will be delighted with the arrival of Vydra - a young player with a proven goal scoring record. However, if Hector moves to Chelsea and isn't loaned back, we may need to take another look at defensive cover.

Lucas Piazon Arrives On Loan From Chelsea

31 August 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?


Reading have confirmed the season long loan signing of Brazilian Lucas Piazon from Chelsea. Twenty one year old Piazon signed for Chelsea from Sao Paulo in January 2012 and has spent most of his time at Chelsea out on loan. His Chelsea first team career has been limited to three appearances - two starts in the League Cup and an appearance from the substitutes bench in the Premier League. Although he hasn't scored for Chelsea he has been involved in a 6-0 win over Wolves, a 5-4 win Manchester United, and an 8-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Piazon spent the entire of last season on loan at German top tier side Eintracht Frankfurt, where he made eleven starts plus featured in a further eleven games off the bench. Piazon can play in a variety of forward positions and has a reasonable strike rate. He scored two goals while at Frankfurt.

The season before that was spent in Holland at Vitesse Arnhem. At Vitesse he found the net 11 times in 29 games in a successful loan spell. With a further loan spell at Malaga he comes to Reading with a lot of experience across Europe despite only being 21. He has also played for Brazil at various youth levels and certainly looks like a very bright prospect.

With Blackman and Sa both finding the net at the weekend in the 3-1 victory at Brentford, it's not clear whether the arrival of Piazon signals the end of the hunt for a goalscorer ahead of the transfer window shutting on Tuesday evening. Steve Clarke has certainly made the most of his links with Chelsea both last season and this, and his impressive contacts could still be used again tomorrow.

Two Blackman Goals Seal Win At Brentford

29 August 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's league season eventually got the boost it needed, at the fifth time of asking, as the Royals cruised to their first league win of the season at Brentford. On paper it looked like a tough away fixture, but everything clicked into place as Orlando Sa scored his first Reading goal and Nick Blackman doubled his goal tally to four goals for the season, making it 3-1 to Reading at full time.

Reading started with what appears to be Steve Clarke's first choice eleven. The Royals were well in control in the first half. The key difference to other league performances so far this season was making the most of our chances - although we probably should still have scored more than the two which we led with at the break. Nick Blackman was causing Brentford all sorts of problems and nearly put Reading ahead ater twisting past a couple of players and into the box. He shot was a great effort that crashed against the home side's crossbar. Orlando Sa did put Reading ahead on 17 minutes when Robson-Kanu cut into the area on the left and crossed for Sa to fly in with a brave header.

Blackman forced a save from the Brentford keeper from close range before doubling Reading's lead with a well taken free-kick. It wasn't all straight forward for Reading after Vibe gave Brentford a life-line on 67 minutes to pull a goal back. However, Reading held firm and right at the end Blackman was taken down by the goalkeeper for a clear penalty. He stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to secure the 3-1 victory, and three points that moves Reading up to 13th in the table.