Although the Championship side have managed to remain afloat in the second tier, next season could be even tougher with the club needing to work within a strict budget, meaning they will be limited in who they can bring in during the summer period.
These restrictions come at the worst possible time for the Berkshire outfit considering the likes of John Swift, Andy Yiadom and Josh Laurent are all out of contract, three key players who have been integral in keeping their current side in the division.
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Andy Rinomhota and Tom Holmes are also set to leave, although contract offers have been made to the duo as well as Yiadom, Laurent and academy graduate Femi Azeez as Paul Ince looks to retain some of the club’s most important assets.
As of yet, none of these players have signed fresh terms and they have already confirmed the departures of Terell Thomas, Brandon Barker, Orjan Nyland, Felipe Araruna, Alen Halilovic and Marc McNulty.
This means they will need to recruit several players if they are to have the squad depth and quality needed to be competitive in the second tier once again – and recruiting the “right” players will be important according to Kebe.
He said: “I do look out for Reading’s results.
“I know they had a difficult season and next year will be hard because they’re going to lose a lot of players, and they have some difficulties, but hopefully, they get the right players in because that’s what they need.”
They need players who have a point to prove because this hunger could make all the difference in the Berkshire side’s quest to remain afloat in the division again.
Kebe’s assessment is spot on because it could be another difficult season next term – but if they can be creative enough in the transfer market in the coming months – staying afloat could be an easier task than it currently looks.
Getting the likes of Yiadom, Laurent and Rinomhota tied down would be a big boost – but it looks unlikely that they will be able to extend Swift’s contract and this is a blow considering how important he was for the club during 2021/22.
Without his 11 goals and 13 assists, Paul Ince’s side would be in the third tier and this is why the recruitment team will need to work hard to bring in two or three players that can replace his goalscoring contributions.
Making full use of the free agent and loan markets will be key – and if they can do so – you would certainly back them for survival once more this season despite the challenges they face. Bringing in Mark Bowen and Brian Carey will hopefully be defining for them in a positive way.