John O’Shea is close to joining Reading, according to Anthony Smith.
The 37-year-old is a free agent after Sunderland decided to not extend his contract after a seven-year spell. His time with the club ended in huge disappointment because they suffered consecutive relegations down to League One.
The team were really poor but he was one of the most reliable performers in his 37 league appearances.
Reading also had a disappointing season because they finished in 20th place just three points away from the drop, which was in complete contrast to their play-off final loss to Huddersfield the season before.
Paul Clement is looking to make his mark on the team after replacing Jaap Stam late in the season to ensure they avoided relegation. His business has been cheap and effective because he has already signed Andy Yiadom and David Meyler who were both free agents.
This is clearly intended as a short-term move with O’Shea helping organise the defence through his organisation and communication, which have developed through his years of experience. Clement’s signings suggest that he is maintaining a defensive approach because they will help keep the team solid from which they can use as a platform to spring counter-attacks.
Reading don’t need O’Shea, though, because he is past his peak and could be a bit of a liability even if they are playing deep and defensive the majority of the time. They would have been better off going after other younger targets because he offers little even as a free agent.
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