The former England international is currently working with a very limited number of first-team options despite seeing several first-teamers put pen to paper on new contracts and Joe Lumley, Tom Ince and Dean Bouzanis arrive at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Well-stocked in the goalkeeping department with Lumley, Bouzanis, Luke Southwood and Jokull Andresson, they are severely lacking in depth in other areas with their forward department needing to be bolstered after they failed to replace Andy Carroll in January.
Quiz: 21 statements about former Reading FC players – Are they true or false?
Another centre-back could also be on the agenda after seeing the Royals concede the joint-most number of goals in the Championship last season – and Ryan Bennett is one name believed to be on the Berkshire outfit’s radar.
However, there are two other areas that need to be looked at according to the view of Ince, who said: “We are light at the left-back position but more so in midfield, we need to prioritise that big time.
“We lost Josh Laurent to Stoke, Andy Rinomhota has gone to Cardiff, and Danny Drinkwater hasn’t come back. We need three or four midfield players and we haven’t got one at the moment.
“We’re just trying to get deals done and get the right players in. You don’t just want to take any player. You want a player who will fit into the culture.”
The second-tier outfit are currently without a senior left-back option with Ethan Bristow departing on the expiration of his contract and Baba Rahman returning to Chelsea, with Imari Samuels also likely to move on.
And in midfield, they only have Dejan Tetek and Tom McIntyre in the senior side, with the former still inexperienced and the latter normally plying his trade in defence.
These are two areas that certainly need to be addressed as a priority – because they simply cannot go into the season with the lack of midfield options they currently have – especially with a leaky defence needing protection.
Thankfully for the second-tier outfit, they are thought to be closing in Nottingham Forest’s Tyrese Fornah and that could be the catalyst for more players to come in at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
With several players also on trial including Massimo Luongo, they could end up addressing their midfield situation quicker than expected, though they do need at least three players to come in and provide depth in this area.
Two senior left-backs will also be required because they were heavily reliant on Rahman last season, something that proved to be detrimental when the Ghanaian was at the African Cup of Nations with the Royals enduring a torrid period during that tournament.
Other areas do need to be looked at though and considering the fact they are still operating under restrictions, they will face a huge task in ensuring they have enough depth before the summer window closes.