Reading this week solved their goalkeeping headache with the acquisition of Sunderland second choice keeper, Vito Mannone, and the Italian will link up with the Royals ahead of their season opener at QPR in just over two weeks time.
Jaap Stam was presented with the challenge of replacing last season’s team of the year goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi last, after the Omani international opted for a Middle East return with Saudi side Al Hilal, and responded quickly with the acquisition of Mannone.
The Italian was ousted from the number one role with the Black Cats last season following the emergence of young Jordan Pickford, and only made nine league appearances as the Wearsiders were relegated from the Premier League.
Despite a limited number of first team outings, Mannone put in several good shifts for the Black Cats, and a heroic display in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool drew the Italian shot stopper a number of plaudits from the football community.
The 29-year-old will realise the expectations associated with working under a boss of Jaap Stam’s demeanour, and Reading fans can expect absolutely professionalism from the player.
Mannone was schooled at Arsenal from a young age and has all the characteristics to be a solid addition to the Reading squad, and will join the club with the intention of pushing for promotion once again.
Fans will have been devastated to lose the impressive Al Habsi following a series of impressive performances in Reading’s push to the play-off final, but in Mannone, Stam has found an ideal replacement.