Reading were one of the most productive sides during the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship as they excelled beyond expectations and kept hitting the right chords. Under the tutelage of Jaap Stam, the Royals did manoeuvre stupendous results which earned them a third place finish in the league table. However, they were really unlucky to miss out on their promotion to the Premier League last term as they lost to Huddersfield Town on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium.
Nonetheless, in order to get the uplift next time around, it would be crucial for them to not lose their morale as they enter into a new season and they should look forward to making the best use of the pedestal they carved last season. Reading haven’t been very busy in the ongoing summer transfer window, which implies that some deals might be on the cards from here on. Reports have been churned out stating that West Ham United’s Ashley Fletcher might be brought on loan to Madejski Stadium this summer.
Yaan Kermongant was Reading’s top scorer last season with 19 goals to his name. However, a couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Kermorgant suffered an injury and underwent hip and groin surgery and is likely to miss some of the games next season. Impliedly, Stam’s interest to bag a talented youngster in the shape of Fletcher makes perfect sense as he is aiming to beef up his attacking arsenal to impose themselves as a serious contender for promotion in the coming season. But can someone like the 21-year-old render a helping hand?
Fletcher emerged through the youth ranks of Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United, but failed to erect a footing for himself after being raised to the senior side of the Red Devils. The Hammers acquired his services once his contract with Manchester United expired last summer, but was handed merely 2 starts in the Premier League last season. With Javier Hernandez being lured to the London Stadium, Slaven Bilic shouldn’t mind loaning the youngster out for a season to brush himself up.
The Englishman is a well-built forward with crisp mobility and excellent dribbling skills being his strongest suits. With Reading desperately vouching for a striker, Fletcher could fit the bill as his athleticism, movements up front and his clinical attitude could prove to be a huge boon to the Berkshire based outfit. Also, a loan deal could help the starlet in blossoming in a fully fledged manner and help him accumulate the required game time on the pitch.