The Madejski Stadium is not a nice place to be at the moment, and the international break could not come soon enough for the Royals. But what is causing all these issues for Reading FC? Is it Paul Clement? Is it the owners? Nope, it is Ron Gourlay and his recruitment. Is it any coincidence that since he’s moved to RG2, the Royals’ form has taken a catastrophic turn? Not at all.
Since he arrived in July 2017, Gourlay helped sign 13 players, only two of who have been a success (so far). One benefit of Gourlay’s recruitment is the fact that there are a higher number of domestic signings than Reading were previously making, with only one of the 13 signings being players from abroad. However, he refuses to take any blame for his errors, and publically coming out and saying “the bulk of players (he has signed since July 2017) have been a success”, shows the ignorance of the former Chelsea CEO. So which of Gourlay’s signings have been a success? We discuss this below with a rating for each player:
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – 6/10
The Icelandic striker is a fan favourite in Berkshire. He always gives his all and has scored a decent amount of goals, but he is not the 20-goal-a-season striker we were crying out for at that time. This is one of Gourlay’s better signings, however still not good enough.
Vito Mannone – 5/10
Was nowhere near good enough to fill the void left by Ali Al-Habsi after he left for Al-Hilal in the same summer. He has made quite a lot of avoidable mistakes since arriving, and I am sure there were better options than him available in the market.
Modou Barrow – 8.5/10
By far Gourlay’s best signing. He is creative, attack-minded and a great finisher. He was precisely what the Royals needed, but it was just unfortunate that he was playing in such a poor side. He will be key this season in keeping Reading in the Championship.
Leandro Bacuna – 5/10
Underwhelming. Very underwhelming. He hasn’t been atrocious, but just nowhere near the quality, we needed in that position. Royals fans were hoping for someone to replace Danny Williams, but Bacuna does not have the work rate to do the same job, and it just seemed like a completely pointless signing.
David Edwards – 1/10
I am not even going to comment on this one.
Sone Aluko – 4/10
He has flattered to deceive since his arrival last summer. He has never shown any consistency and hasn’t justified the price tag Reading splashed to bring him to RG2 from Fulham.
It is very early to give a definitive rating for this summers signings, but I will do it on what we have seen so far.
Andy Yiadom – 9/10
Faultless so far. Best right-back we’ve had for years.
David Meyler – 5/10
Very average. He is very slow off the mark, and it often costs us.
John O’Shea – 5/10
The only game he played was against a good Watford side so would be harsh to judge.
Marc McNulty – 6/10
Looks very sharp, needs a goal soon to get him going.
Darren Sidoel – N/A
Under-23’s signing, can’t say I have seen him play but sounds like he is playing quite well.
Sam Walker – 6/10
Made some good saves in the games he has played. Needs to be patient and wait for his chance in the league.
Sam Baldock – 6/10
Works hard, but hasn’t been clinical in front of goal as of yet. Could be a good player for us this season.
Some of the recruitment from Gourlay has been awful, and I am not sure any Royals fans would be disappointed if he left the club.