Reading manager Jaap Stam has made Sone Aluko the club's latest signing as the striker joined the club from Championship rivals Fulham for a fee believed to be in the region of £7.5 million.
The Royals will now be looking to secure further additions before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday with another forward high on the list of priorities. They have been strongly linked with Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira but it is yet to be seen whether they can get a deal over the line.
A smart addition for the Royals
The 28-year-old arrives at the Madejski Stadium with nothing to prove as he has previously shown that he can perform to a high standard at this level in the past. He has played for the likes of Birmingham City, Aberdeen, Blackpool, Rangers, Hull City and most recently Fulham in his career to date and subsequently has a vast amount of experience at this level.
However, he has never been a prolific goalscorer throughout his career, rarely reaching double figures. His most successful season came at Rangers in the Scottish Premier League in the 2011/12 campaign as he scored 12 goals in 21 league appearances. Despite this, he offers a lot more than just goals and his link-up play can be sublime at times. It is also difficult to read too much into his record due to the fact he has not had the best luck with injuries in his career.
It does come as a surprise that Reading were willing to pay £7.5 million for his services as this is a lot of money for a player with his goalscoring record and injury history. However, Stam clearly rates him highly as a player and his versatility will without doubt come in handy in what is a very demanding campaign. Fulham are also likely to be satisfied with the deal as the club's hierarchy appears to have a policy of keeping the squad under a certain age bracket and as Aluko is reaching the latter stages of his career, it made sense to let him go, especially for a hefty fee.
Stam delighted to welcome 'quality' player
Aluko joins the likes of Leandro Bacuna, Modou Barrow, Jón Daði Böðvarsson, David Edwards and others who have all already arrived at the Madejski Stadium so far this summer. Stam is delighted to add even more quality to what was already a very talented squad as he looks to target automatic promotion this season to avoid the lottery of the play-offs.
He told Reading's official site: “In Sone, we welcome a quality player into our squad. With his pace and ability on the ball, he can make life difficult for every opponent we face this season and he has experience of playing at the level we want to play at.
He added: “He poses a threat going forward, he keeps the ball well, he can play as a striker or out on the wing and I am sure he will improve us as a squad. So I’m very happy that he has chosen to join us.”
It will be interesting to see whether Stam throws Aluko into his starting line-up straight away after the international break against Bristol City at the Madejski and also what position he will choose to utilise him in.