Writer: Adam Jones
At the end of last season, it was clear that Reading needed to shift on numerous players in the summer transfer window. Whilst the club have managed to release a number of players on the expiration of their contract, the Royals are finding it difficult to sell those who have been placed on the transfer list.
If Reading are to have a successful season, they need to sell some of these players so they can add more signings to the squad. Their EFL soft transfer embargo means they are currently having difficulty doing that.
Here are five players that Reading still need to sell in this summer transfer window.
After joining the club from Nottingham Forest in the 2012 window ahead of the club’s last Premier League campaign, Gunter was one of the first teams on the team sheet up until the arrival of former Barnsley full-back Andy Yiadom last summer. He spent most of the last campaign on the bench, something he hasn’t been accustomed to since his arrival at the club.
With Andy Yiadom performing well sat right back, with academy graduates Teddy Howe and Tennai Watson as able backup for Yiadom, Gunter has been told to find another club. Even though Gunter is a very capable player, the club can’t afford to keep fringe players on first team wages like the Welshman is.
At 29, the Wales international could easily move to another Championship club and is probably one of the most wanted players on this list. Despite the ups and downs over the years, I’m sure most Reading fans will wish him well when he departs.
One of the harder players to shift on will be David Meyler, who only arrived at the Royals last year. Despite being firmly in former manager Paul Clement’s plans at the start of the season, starting against Derby County in the first league game of last season, the Irishman barely featured for the Royals.
Jose Gomes is clearly not going to give the defensive midfielder another chance at the Madejski Stadium, despite the Royals being short of quality and depth in that particular position. His loan move to Coventry City in January has indicated that his time at Reading will be a short one if they can get his wages off the books.
It’s fair to say the former Premier League midfielder has taken a fall from grace since his time at Hull City. Let’s hope he can revive his career at a different club. He hasn’t made any impact whatsoever in Berkshire.
Just like Gunter, McCleary arrived from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2012. After a couple of very impressive seasons with the Royals, scoring brilliant goals and terrifying fullbacks across the top two divisions, injury has dominated his time in Berkshire.
The Jamaican seems to have lost a yard of pace since his injury and is no longer able to dominate the opposition left back like he used to. The introduction of Tyler Frost into the first team, as well as the presence of Mo Barrow and Yakou Meite on either wing has sealed his fate at Reading. He was another unsurprising addition to the transfer list along with Meyler.
If McCleary had stayed fit and kept up his fantastic form that he showed in the 2013/14 season, he might have signed for a Premier League club. He was that brilliant in that season. There’s also no doubt that he was one of the smartest signings of the 2012/13 campaign by Brian McDermott.
The Romanian winger was brought in to the club by Jaap Stam in the middle of the successful 2016/17 season, where Reading reached the playoff final against Huddersfield. One of the highlights of his Reading career was undoubtedly against Sheffield Wednesday in that season, clinching the second goal in a vital 2-0 win at Hillsborough.
After a couple of loan spells abroad, he’s another winger who has been placed on the transfer list by Jose Gomes. The only surprise is that he’s not been sold permanently a lot earlier. Whether Reading can shift him out the door this summer is another matter.
It’s unlikely that Popa will stay in England if he does switch clubs and would perhaps favour a move back to his native country of Romania. At 30 years old, he needs to make the most of his playing career whilst he can.
The striker signed from Coventry City last summer, after playing a bit part in the Sky Blues’ playoff promotion to League One in the previous season. Although McNulty was tipped to play a reasonable amount of football at Reading last season, he faced stiff competition from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Yakou Meite and Sam Baldock.
The Scottish player was sent out on loan to Hibernian for the second part of last season and impressed many fans up in Scotland. McNulty looked like he was going to sign for Hibs this summer. However, manager Paul Heckingbottom has said that the club can’t afford
to sign him permanently from Reading.
It’s clear that McNulty desperately wants to be playing first team football as soon as possible and is one of the more likely players on the transfer list to leave the Madejski Stadium between now and the closure of the summer window.