It’s safe to say that it’s not been the loan spell that Lewis Gibson would have originally hoped for whilst with Reading FC.
The defender signed on loan with the Royals from Premier League side Everton for the 2020/21 season, but has found regular game time hard to come by for a Reading team that have been hugely impressive this term.
Veljko Paunovic’s side are currently sat fifth in the Championship table, and will be hoping they can win a timely promotion back into the Premier League.
They’re unbeaten in their last four matches in this year’s campaign, and will be looking to pick up another win when they return to action against relegation-threatened Birmingham City on Wednesday evening.
Gibson has missed a number of matches through injury, but has recently returned to the first-team fold, although regular starts have been tough to find for the Everton defender, as he’s made just seven appearances in all competitions this term.
Gibson’s most recent start came against Millwall in February, as Paunovic made a number of changes to his starting XI during the busy Championship schedule.
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He returned to the matchday squad in their recent game against Nottingham Forest, where the Royals were forced to settle for a point against the Reds at the City Ground, as Yakou Meite’s late strike rescued a point.
But regular minutes in the Reading squad seem highly unlikely from now until the end of this year’s campaign, with the likes of Omar Richards keeping him out of the starting XI.
Gibson can operate in both the heart of the defence and at left-back, but is considerably far down the pecking order in the Madejski Stadium in the centre of the defensive line.
Tom McIntyre and Tom Holmes are just some of the names ahead of Gibson, and it would be a surprise if the on-loan Everton man was to feature much moving forward.
Therefore, it makes it difficult to see that Gibson will be anywhere near the Everton first-team when he returns to the Premier League club in the summer.
The Toffees already have a considerable amount of depth in defence themselves, and Gibson wouldn’t be anywhere near the first-team, with another loan move seeming likely ahead of the 2021/22 season.