News and Views

Panic Over - McShane Signs And Al Habsi On Trial

02 July 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

A week ago there was plenty of reason for concern with players continuing to leave the club but not a single signing in the other direction. However three decent signings in a short space of time have eased the concerns ahead of the upcoming new Championship season. First striker Orlando Sa was confirmed from Legia Warsaw, and that was quickly followed by Hull City midfielder Stephen Quinn. Now the signing of defender Paul McShane has also been confirmed. Like Quinn, McShane is 29 years old, is an Ireland international, and comes from Hull City after his contract with the club finished. The similarities don't end their either with Paul McShane also signing a contract to keep him with the Royals for three years.

Both Quinn and McShane have plenty of experience in the Premier League and also at International level. McShane has played 37 times for Ireland and remains a regular in the Irish set-up. McShane started his professional career after signing terms with Manchester United. However, he failed to make the grade at United and found himself shipped out on loan to Walsall and Brighton before moving to West Bromwich Albion when the Red Devils failed to renew his contract.

An impressive 2006/2007 season at Albion saw Sunderland pay 2.5 million pounds for his services in the summer of 2007. An eventual loan to Hull City for the 2008/2009 season saw Hull make his move permanent in the summer of 2009. McShane had further loan spells at Barnsley and Crystal Palace before becoming a fixture in the Hull squad. McShane made 119 starts for the Tigers in a career that includes 270 club appearances and 14 goals.

Speaking after completing his move to Reading, McShane said: "It's been going on for a few weeks and I'm glad to get it over the line. Reading is such a good club, I know lads who have played for the club before, they have given me great reports, and when I first found out Reading were interested, Steve Clarke came over to Dublin and met up with me there when I was with the Irish team, that was a good gesture... For the manager to do that makes a massive difference. I want to be wanted, to play first team football and be a big part of the club."

Reading's collection of a defender, midfielder and striker in the space of a week will do plenty to restore some confidence in what's going on behind the scenes at Reading. However, the Royals still need to find that elusive, and essential, goalkeeper to complete the set. With that in mind, the club have confirmed goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi is training at the club with the view of a possible move.

33 year old Al Habsi made 134 appearances for Wigan Athletic after they paid four million pounds in 2011 to sign him from Bolton. His first season at Wigan saw him voted as player of the season. Despite his previous success at the club he was not offered a new contract by Wigan this summer and is now hunting for a new contract elsewhere. With Reading desperate for a goalkeeper it seems very likely he will become Reading's fourth signing after his current trial with the club. Although Sa is likely to cost up to 1 million pounds in transfer fees, the other three players arrive all out of contract as Steve Clarke continues to assemble his new squad on a limited budget.

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