This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way….
Reading made a number of additions to their squad during the summer transfer window, as they looked to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone after a frustrating few seasons in the Championship.
One of those to arrive was Josh Laurent, who signed for the Royals after a spell with League One club Shrewsbury Town. There might have been a few doubts as to whether the midfielder was capable of adjusting to the step up to the second-tier, but he’s certainly silenced any doubters he had heading into the 2020/21 league campaign.
Laurent has been a regular in the starting XI under the management of Veljko Paunovic, with the 25-year-old going on to make 38 appearances in all competitions this term.
He has formed an impressive partnership with Andy Rinomhota in the centre of midfield, which will be key to Reading’s promotion push.
Reading are currently sat sixth in the Championship, and Laurent and his team-mates will be hoping they can put together a positive run of results from now until the end of this year’s campaign, as they approach their final eight matches of the season.
We take a look at the initial reaction from Reading supporters to when Laurent first signed for the club back in July 2020.
What a signing this is! Very good player and looks like he has huge potential and we got him for free! 🔵⚪️
— Luke (@Luke1871_) July 28, 2020
— Fin (@FinSouthKlein) July 28, 2020
Agree, can't see him making our first team on a regular basis
— Sam (@1871sam) February 10, 2021
— Jack (@jackmoore1402) July 28, 2020
Reserve judgement until I've seen him, not going to get carried away. https://t.co/JSvYliZ2gq
— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) July 28, 2020
Strangely excited by this https://t.co/mx4aNG5ZLv
— Dominic Alderton (@DomAlderton) July 29, 2020
Exciting signing that! https://t.co/mqotX2IawH
— Josh Lawrence (@JoshLawrence93) July 28, 2020
Just give us the title now lads https://t.co/hsLvSsLIEu
— SB (@SBeaverss) July 28, 2020
So it’s fair to say that the majority of the Madejski Stadium faithful were right to be excited by Laurent’s arrival at the time, although some have been proven wrong by the midfielder, who has become a regular in the starting XI since signing for the club in the summer.
Laurent is set to return to action with Reading on Good Friday, when they travel to Oakwell to take on promotion-chasing rivals Barnsley, in what is likely to be a closely-fought battle between the two teams.
The Tykes are sat just one place above Reading in the second-tier standings, and like the Royals, they’ll be looking nervously over their shoulders in the table if they’re to drop points in their next match, with the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Cardiff City making a late push for a top-six finish this term.