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Veljko Paunovic outlines Reading FC priority as need for crucial player agreements loom

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Reading manager Veljko Paunovic has named Andy Carroll and Scott Dann as two players he wants to tie down to a longer-term stay at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, speaking to the Reading Chronicle.

The experienced duo have proven their worth for the Royals in recent games, with both performing well at either end of the pitch and getting in and amongst the goals since the previous international break.

After managing to get to full fitness following his arrival on a free transfer in late August, Dann, 34, has managed to establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet and has been a threat in both boxes, already scoring against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest this season and filling the void Michael Morrison has left in his absence as a key man from set-pieces.

Quiz: Has Lucas Joao ever scored a goal for Reading at each of these 26 stadiums?

1 of 26

Brentford Community Stadium?

He will become an even more important figure for the next fortnight with captain Liam Moore out with an injury, likely to partner Tom Holmes in central defence as they look to stay solid at the back.

Meanwhile, Carroll managed to get score his first goal for the Berkshire outfit last weekend, controlling Danny Drinkwater’s long ball expertly, shielding the ball from Swansea City’s defenders and firing beyond Ben Hamer in what proved to be a crucial strike in their victory against Russell Martin’s men.

However, the ex-England international’s contract runs out in mid-January, with Dann’s stay at the club currently on course to come to an end at the climax of the 2021/22 campaign.

There may be numerous key first-teamers’ deals coming to an end in the summer, including John Swift and Andy Yiadom, but manager Paunovic has Dann and Carroll in mind as he set out his priorities to the Reading Chronicle in his pre-match press conference.

Speaking about this subject, he said: “I think there are priorities.

“Players like Scott Dann, like Andy Carroll, we have to secure.

“And definitely, we also have to see with other players, other additions, loanees, because right now we’re only allowed loans for six months.”

The Verdict:

For the Royals, it’s a tricky situation because they will be desperate to build for the future and focus on developing younger players, but the likes of Dann and Carroll have been willing to accept lower wages with the former’s summer addition needing to comply with embargo rules and the latter reportedly on just £1,000 per week.

In the short term though, they should be players the second-tier side looks to tie down for an extended period of time.

Carroll’s injury record throughout his career can be questioned, but if he’s happy to play on a similar wage to the remainder of the season, he is a player worth gambling on with the potential impact he could have throughout the remainder of the season if he can stay fit and healthy, something that isn’t impossible considering he looks in good shape currently.

With ex-Crystal Palace man Dann, he brings a huge amount of experience to a young backline, with the likes of Holmes and Tom McIntyre likely to benefit from his guidance on the training ground as two young players.

He could also play a part in developing the likes of Michael Stickland and Nelson Abbey, two players who look likely to make a full first-team breakthrough at some point if they can continue to develop, with the teenage duo already making their first senior appearances for the club.


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: Veljko Paunovic outlines Reading FC priority as need for crucial player agreements loom

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