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3 out-of contract players Reading FC should target this summer to enhance their squad



Championship outfit Reading are facing a mass exodus this summer with several of their key players out of contract at the end of the campaign.

John Swift is one man who will be sorely missed when he departs the Select Car Leasing Stadium, with the 26-year-old looking unlikely to put pen to paper on fresh terms considering he’s been the subject of interest from Premier League sides this season.

He has played a major part in keeping the Royals afloat in the division this term – but the main issue at this stage is not the calibre of players that will be leaving but the number of current squad members who are edging closer to the exit door.

Quiz: Which club did Reading FC sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?

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Nicky Forster?

With this, the Berkshire outfit will need to recruit quite a few players between now and the start of the 2022/23 campaign if they are to be competitive and remain afloat in the division once more, though they will face challenges with their business plan.

This plan restricts the wage bill the Royals can have from next season and also the fees they can spend on players, so they will need to be creative if they want to be successful this summer.

Looking ahead, we take a look at three out-of-contract players the club should look to target in a bid to strengthen their squad.

Neil Taylor

Soccer Football – FA Cup Quarter Final – Middlesbrough v Chelsea – Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, Britain – March 19, 2022 Middlesbrough’s Neil Taylor in action with Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

33-year-old Taylor has performed reasonably well since his arrival at Middlesbrough in November and with that, his deal on Teesside was extended until the end of this current campaign.

However, his future beyond then is uncertain with Marc Bola available as an alternative option on the left-hand side and Boro unclear on whether they will be competing in the Premier League or second tier next season.

If they are promoted at the end of this term, he may not have a future at the club and Djed Spence’s return could push Isaiah Jones over to the left-hand side if they don’t cash in on the current Nottingham Forest loanee.

It looks as though Boro are dealing with older players and their contracts at a later stage though with Sol Bamber, Lee Peltier and Jonny Howson also out of contract at the end of the season.

If he isn’t offered fresh terms though, the Royals should be looking to recruit the experienced left-back with Baba Rahman set to return to Chelsea at the end of the season and the Berkshire side not having any other senior left-backs at the club.

Ben Hamer

Soccer Football – Championship – Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion – Stadium, Swansea, Wales, Britain – October 20, 2021 Swansea City’s Ben Hamer celebrates after Jamie Paterson scores their second goal Action Images/Paul Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Hamer is actually an academy graduate at the Select Car Leasing Stadium and has established himself as a capable goalkeeper in the second tier, performing reasonably well for Swansea since his arrival in Wales.

But with Andy Fisher becoming the club’s current first-choice keeper, something that will help Russell Martin implement his style of play, the Swans have made the decision to allow the 34-year-old to leave.

Struggling to get past Adam Federici during his first spell with the Royals, Hamer would probably be the Royals’ first-choice option if he was to join in the summer, though it remains to be seen if Orjan Nyland signs a contract extension.

If he doesn’t, that could open up a slot for the current Swansea goalkeeper to join and compete with the likes of Luke Southwood and Jokull Andresson for a starting spot.

His experience should be enough to keep him ahead of the latter two in the pecking order though.

Michael Hector

Soccer Football – Carabao Cup – Third Round – Fulham v Leeds United – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – September 21, 2021 Fulham’s Michael Hector in action with Leeds United’s Daniel James Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley EDITORIAL USE ONLY

With Fulham securing their promotion back to the Premier League last month, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Hector who has found his game time limited by Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream this season.

Alfie Mawson is also available as an option for free in the summer if he isn’t offered a new deal at Craven Cottage – but Hector has been less injury prone and with top-tier experience under his belt – Hector will return to Berkshire a better player than he was when he first left the Royals.

Like Hamer, he is another academy graduate but actually managed to make a real impact on the first team before securing a move to Chelsea in 2015.

At this stage of his career, Hector needs game time above everything else after seeing his career stall in the English capital this season, although he would probably have to take a considerable pay cut if he was to return to Berkshire.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 out-of contract players Reading FC should target this summer to enhance their squad

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