As confirmed by the club’s official website this week, Brian McDermott has returned to Reading as their new manager following a two-and-a-half year period away from the club.
McDermott takes over a Reading side quite different to the one he took to the Premier League, with the Royals now sitting in midtable in the Championship and quite shot on confidence.
Reading are on a four-game losing run, with their latest defeat coming at the hands of Hull City at the KC Stadium thanks to a late Jake Livermore goal which gave the hosts a 2-1 win.
The Berkshire outfit have plenty of potential in their squad, yet McDermott will be keen to strengthen in January with a defender seemingly high on the list of priorities.
Reading have conceded 25 goals in 21 matches this season, and youngster Michael Hector is to leave the Madejski Stadium for Chelsea at the end of the current campaign.
One player who McDermott knows very well due to his previous stint at the club is centre-back Alex Pearce, and he’s exactly the sort of player which should be targeted in January.
Pearce joined Derby County from Reading on a free transfer in the summer, yet he has made just one League Cup appearance this season and is unlikely to feature anytime soon.
Jason Shackell and Richard Keogh are Derby’s first-choice partnership, conceding just 13 goals this season, while Jake Buxton and Ryan Shotton are more than capable backups.
Signing Pearce was quite a bizarre move from the Rams, and with the 27-year-old seemingly nowhere near the first-team, allowing him to leave in January wouldn’t be a bad idea.
The former Reading man knows McDermott very well, he would get games at the Madejski and he could prove a valuable asset as the club still has eyes on a potential playoff spot.
A permanent switch may prove difficult, yet a loan move would make sense for all parties involved as Derby would save on his wages and McDermott would have an extra option to work with at the back.