Now the season is finished, Jose Gomes needs to make some tough decisions over the coming weeks about the squad he wants for next season. In his post match press conference yesterday, the manager has said he knows who he wants and who he doesn’t want in his squad to start the new campaign, which means having the difficult discussion with certain players and telling them their services aren’t required going forward.
In this article and across a few more this week, I’m going to evaluate the squad by position and give my opinion on who I would like to see in and around the squad for next season. This specific article will include the goalkeepers
Emiliano Martinez – I wrote a piece on Martinez a few days ago but I believe it is vital that Reading make every effort to ensure the Argentine is at the Mad Stad next season. He wants his future resolved at Arsenal, and with game time likely to be limited, Unai Emery could well let the keeper leave this summer.
Anssi Jaakola – Early reports suggest that the Finn will be released when his contract ends this summer. I personally think the club should offer Jaakola at least another year, as he would provide a decent backup option if we can get Martinez in again.
Vito Mannone – On loan at Minnesota until January of next year, but once that loan deal is completed, reports suggest that the club will look to offload the Italian permanently. I think this would be a move best for all parties.
George Legg – The youngster has had a good loan spell out at Boreham Wood this season but has already announced he will leave in the summer.
Sam Walker – Has had a few chances in the first team since arriving from Colchester in the summer but has struggled to nail down a consistent place in the squad. I think Walker will be one player that Gomes will be looking to offload this summer and I am inclined to agree.
Luke Southwood – This U20 World Cup winner has had a terrific loan spell out at Eastleigh in the Vanarama National this season, helping them qualify for the playoffs. With massive potential, I think Gomes needs to have Southwood in and around the squad next season, and if the club do release Jaakola then I think Southwood would be a perfectly adequate number 2.