Reading have endured a very quiet summer thus far with no arrivals coming through the door and key areas for manager Veljko Paunovic still to address.
After Omar Richards’ departure to Bayern Munich, the Royals are currently without a first-choice left-back at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
In a bid to solve this issue, they have given former Watford full-back Achraf Lazaar a trial with a view to a possible move, although it’s currently unclear how likely this deal is to happen.
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Another key position for Paunovic to focus on is the wing position – an issue that caused the Berkshire side problems going forward last term and continuing to do so this summer – with Michael Olise leaving the club and Yakou Meite currently out with a severe anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Along with Lazaar, former West Brom winger Kyle Edwards has also joined on trial and could be one of multiple recruits in this area before the transfer window slams shut before the end of August.
Ahead of this potential deal, we take a more in-depth look at Edwards and how likely he is to join the Royals this summer.
What do we know so far?
Although Reading have managed to steal a march in the race by taking Edwards on trial, they are not the only team in the running for the 23-year-old who was released by West Bromwich Albion in the summer.
Former Scottish Premiership champions Celtic were reported to have opened talks with winger before he arrived in Berkshire and more recently, Championship rivals AFC Bournemouth were tipped to make a late entrance to steal Edwards from under both sides’ noses.
Because Edwards graduated from West Brom’s academy, Valerien Ismael’s side would be entitled to compensation for the 23-year-old.
However, Reading are currently operating under an EFL-imposed transfer embargo so it’s currently known whether a deal can be done, although it’s unlikely they would have taken the winger on trial if they felt they couldn’t get it over the line.
He started for the Royals in last night’s friendly against West Ham United and came off at half-time, receiving mixed reviews from Reading fans.
But Veljko Paunovic may want to assess the winger further in their upcoming pre-season games against Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace before making a decision on him.
Is it likely to happen?
This will come down to two things: Paunovic’s assessment of the player and the EFL’s willingness to allow the Royals to make signings.
Excessive spending in recent years has hampered the Royals and has inevitably slowed down their transfer activity this summer.
But they may be able to sign free agents and loan players with the EFL’s clearance – with the club set to engage in discussions with the governing board according to the Berkshire side’s manager.
One thing that’s certain is the need for wingers and if the Championship outfit can negotiate a sensible wage package with the blessing of the EFL, this deal is likely to get over the line.
The compensation factor and interest from other clubs could put a stop to this deal though, which would be a shame considering Edwards has already travelled to Scotland with the Royals for their pre-season training camp and settled into the first-team squad.