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Opinion: Why Reading FC may need to make further addition to key area despite recent arrival

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Championship side Reading bolstered their forward department on Wednesday with the return of former Southampton striker Shane Long.

Since first leaving the Select Car Leasing Stadium in 2011, the Irishman has gone on to be a real success both at an international level and in the Premier League, making this a potentially good signing even if it’s just for the short term.

Whilst many supporters of the second-tier side have openly acknowledged that their hero may not be the player he once was with the 35-year-old entering the twilight years of his playing career, he should have enough experience and know-how to be a valuable contributor to the cause in Berkshire.

Quiz: Can you identify the 10 fake Reading FC facts?

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The club was formed in 1871.

That leaves Lucas Joao, George Puscas, Long and Yakou Meite as their four senior options up front, with their forward department being boosted further by some of their youngsters including Jahmari Clarke, Nahum Melvin-Lambert and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan signing new deals to remain in Berkshire.

There’s every chance one or two could play regularly in the first team next season, though it may be more beneficial if a couple went out on loan to play more first-team football.

You could also argue that Meite is a much better player on the wing and though he could also be a centre-forward option for Paul Ince going into the 2022/23 campaign, he should be a starter on the wing if he can get back to his best. His ACL injury also needs to be considered – because it may take him a while for him to get back to his best once more.

That leaves the Berkshire outfit with three clear options: Joao, Puscas and Long.

There doesn’t seem to be any real chance of Joao leaving the club this summer with the Royals being limited to loans and free transfers – and there’s little chance of them being able to replace someone of the Angola international’s quality.

However, his injury record in recent years has been questionable and with that, he will need at least two backups even if Ince decides to continue playing one up top. Long could be one of those – but if Puscas was to leave – they will certainly need to bring in a replacement for him.

Letting go of the Romanian makes sense considering the fact he’s likely to be on a high wage, struggles to play up front on his own and is reportedly itching to secure a move away from Berkshire.

Getting his salary off the wage bill could help the Royals to bring in at least two or three players in return – and that would be useful with the central midfield, left-back and centre-back area all needing to be addressed – not forgetting another forward following Puscas’ potential departure.

Adding another forward will provide more firepower up top and that could end up being crucial considering how poor their defensive record was during the 2021/22 season.

Who knows, perhaps this extra striker could be the difference between relegation and remaining afloat in the second tier once more.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Why Reading FC may need to make further addition to key area despite recent arrival

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