This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Reading are considering making a move for Wigan Athletic winger Jordan Jones, as per a report from TEAMtalk.
The report states that the Royals are not alone in their pursuit, with Barnsley, Blackpool, Derby County and Luton Town also monitoring the 27-year-old’s progress with the Latics.
Jones’ game time at the DW Stadium has been severely limited this season, with the former Rangers man starting just three league games and coming on from the bench in six other matches.
Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC signed these 28 midfielders from?
Jones is willing to move on this month as he searches for more regular game time, with a move up a division on the cards.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding this potential deal…
Jones is a wide option that could help to provide the Royals with a different dimension going forward – because they have been severely lacking in wide threat throughout Veljko Paunovic’s tenure.
The last time the club had a real presence in terms of width was when Mo Barrow was at the Select Car Leasing Stadium – and the Berkshire club have failed to replace him ever since his departure to South Korea.
At this stage, only a loan move looks tenable considering the club’s financial situation, although he could potentially be a long-term option if Wigan let him go for a nominal fee with the 27-year-old unlikely to demand a huge pay packet.
Whether he gets into the starting lineup remains to be seen though – because the likes of Junior Hoilett, Alen Halilovic and Ovie Ejaria are all pushing for a starting spot in his position.
Jordan Jones has shown flashes of his brilliance in the past but you have to question if there are better targets out there for Reading.
Granted, the side don’t have a lot of money to play with right now and the Wigan man probably represents a decent bit of business considering the likely cost and what they would gain from the deal. Jones has plenty of experience and can score and assist, albeit not on too regular of a basis as of late.
The Royals though have some good options already out wide. Junior Hoilett looked sensational against Derby, whilst Alen Halilovic has been played on the wing and has the talent and potential to be a solid option there. Would Jones even get minutes at the Madejski Stadium or would he be merely a benchwarmer?
It does sound like he would be more of a backup player, so in that respect a deal may not be too bad for Reading if they pull it off. They’d get a decent player who could offer them a rotation option and it wouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg. However, if they want a winger who can step in and change the game right now, then they may be better looking elsewhere.
With Jones contracted at the DW Stadium until the summer of 2024 there would probably be a fee involved that would be tricky for Reading to negotiate given their financial difficulties. Jones is not Championship ready anyway and has not achieved regular game time for some years.
It would be a poor signing for the Royals’ battle against the drop and it seems unlikely that Leam Richardson would be willing to let him go, preferring to maintain a deep squad to ensure Wigan can stay the course at the top end of League One.
Reading could probably do better in reusing the free agent market that has served them well so far this season. Bringing in Jones would be uninspiring and unnecessary.