Transfer Focus: Where Reading need to strengthen

Reading Madejski Stadium

It is fair to say that Reading have not done as they expected on their return to the Premier League.

Just two wins in the opening 21 games of the season has seen them sit just one place above the bottom spot and along with Newcastle United, they are yet to win away from home.

Manager Brian McDermott was very active over the summer with no less than nine players arriving at the Madejski stadium but results simply haven't come for his Reading side.

Scoring goals doesn't seem to be the problem either with Pavel Pogrebnyack netting seven, Adam le Fondre, five,  and the likes of Noel Hunt, Jimmy Kebe and Hal Robson Kanu have also added goals.

But defensively, McDermott's side have struggled, conceding no fewer than 37 goals. The most in the Premier League.

Where do the team need to strengthen?

The partnership of Adrian Mariappa and Kaspars Gorkss may have stood firm in the Championship but against the likes fo Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and other top strikers in the Premier League, they have ultimately struggled.

Portuguese centre-back Daniel Carrico has arrived from Sporting Lisbon for just under £1m but it is expected McDermott may look to bring one more defender as cover too.

Moving further up the field and the club will be looking to add a little more creative depth to their squad. A playmaker or centre forward could arrive to add some much needed game winning goals.

Top Targets

As mentioned earlier Daniel Carrico has arrived but McDermott also has his eye set on signing Australian international Tomas Rogic and Swansea back-up striker Danny Graham.

The latter of the two would provide more goals and a partnership with Pogrebnyack may prove to be vital in their quest for Premier League survival.

As for Rogic, the Aussie youngster has made a real name for himself in his homeland and his performances for Central Coast Mariners have gained him a national team call-up.

Budget

The club spent £750,000 on Carrico and have offered £600,000 for Rogic, telling Reading fans that their is money to spend at the club.

The signing of Danny Graham, however, could prove complicated. The 27-year-old joined Swansea City from Watford in 2011 for £3.5m and it is thought the Welsh side will want to recoup some of that transfer fee if they are to sell.

My Prediction

Whilst the signing of Carrico is a good one as I have watched the Portuguese defender at Sporting Lisbon and the capture of Rogic, a shrewd one. I think that signing Danny Graham may be little bit too far fetched for the club, Swansea will want a good figure for the striker as Michael Laudrup also wants to bolster his options in January.

However, one possibility is a loan move. If not, McDermott will have to be quick and force his interest elsewhere. Darren Bent from Aston Villa? or maybe one of the Championships top scorers, Glenn Murray, Tom Ince, Craig Mackail Smith.

image: © crystian cruz

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