Forward Upheavals, Swift to Leeds talk and Meite – predict Reading FC’s big stories of 2022

A crucial year awaits Reading FC on and off the pitch in 2022.

The club are starting the new year in a precarious position just above the league’s relegation zone, with up to 13 senior players in line to go on the loose this summer.

Some important decisions need to be made over the next few months to ensure the club are a competitive team for next season.

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The immediate priority, of course, is to rack up as many points as possible to move up the league ranks, but with the uncertainty of who will and who will not participate in the January transfer window, tough times will come. announce in what is the year of the 150th anniversary of the club.

Below, we take a look at our crystal ball and make some predictions on what the big talking points and scenarios for Reading FC will be over the next 12 months in 2022.

Disruption of summer transfers

With more than one squad of senior players without a contract at the end of the season, as well as a number of academy players on the sidelines of the first team, there is likely to be a massive exodus of players this summer.

Reading fans are hopeful that at least some of the players will be successful, especially players like Tom Holmes and Andy Rinomhota who have gone through the club’s academy.

But with the club set to cut payrolls significantly over the next season, finances are tight when it comes to offering players new contracts.

It is likely that a number of stars such as John Swift and Michael Morrison will be heading for the exit door and the club will have to make careful choices in the summer window when it comes to finding their replacements.

Coppell vs. McDermott

A great opportunity that Reading fans look forward to comes in May when the two club teams that won the 2006 and 2012 championship go head to head at Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Steve Coppell and Brian McDermott will lead their teams at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022.



Brian McDermott and Steve Coppell

The event will bring the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations to a close.

With the pair overseeing a golden age at the club, it will be a wonderful opportunity for fans to look back on the glory days and see some of their heroes in action for one last time in a Reading jersey.

Will Reading Beat Gout?

The second half of the 2021/22 campaign is expected to see many ups and downs over the coming months.

Reading’s six-point deduction left them precariously sitting above relegation at the midpoint.

Will they have enough to pull away from the bottom three and finish in a solid position in the middle of the table? Or will it be a biting end that sees the Royals fight to preserve their second-tier status?

Last season saw a welcome change and Reading competed in the top half of the table. In the previous six seasons, the Royals have finished 14th, 20th, 20th, 3rd, 17th and 19th, so they’re quite used to relegations.

Fans will be content with some mid-table mediocrity in 2022, but that remains to be seen.

John Swift and Leeds United

It seems like not a day goes by without a story linking John Swift to a move to Leeds United.

With the playmaker out of contract this summer, the January window represents the last opportunity for Reading to capitalize on his precious asset which has eight goals and nine assists so far this season.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has already expressed his admiration for Swift, although no movement for him in the coming weeks is expected to occur.



John swift
John Swift of Reading

Instead, the player is expected to stay and see his contract at Royals before leaving in June.

The ex-Chelsea youngster will surely have plenty of options when he becomes a free agent, having established himself as one of the best players outside of the upper tier during his six-year stint with Reading.

It will be fascinating to see how his career develops. But in the short term, Royals fans will be hopeful he will continue to maintain his excellent form into the second half of the season to help the club finish as high in the league table as possible.

The fortunes of Joao and Meite

Aside from two games, Reading has been without star striker duo Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite this season due to injury.

The first is expected to return at the end of January, while it is hoped that the second will be back in March.

The pair left huge holes in the Royals squad and it’s no coincidence that form has been patchy at best without them on the side.



Yakou Meite

Joao scored 22 goals in 40 games last season, as well as his seven of 20 the previous season, while Meite scored 12 in 25 last season in addition to 17 goals in 45 appearances in 2019/20.

In short, they are both an extremely valuable source of reading goals.

It remains to be seen how the duo’s injuries (Joao – hip, Meite – knee) will affect them upon their return. Will they pick up where they left off?

Their presence on the pitch alone gives opponents a lot more to think about and even if they only come in with a few strikes here and there, they could make a difference in games.

Parc Vert station

The new Green Park station is slated to open this summer, giving fans a new way to get to home games.

Currently, the nearest train station is in the city center, around 15 minutes by bus from the stadium.

The new £ 20million station will be located on the Reading Line in Basingstoke and is expected to open to the public by June 2022.



Femi Azeez from Reading

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The station will have two platforms accessible to people with reduced mobility and a multimodal interchange with level parking, bus stops, a taxi rank and bicycle parking.

With less than ideal access to the SCL stadium, this will hopefully give home and away supporters a much easier and greener course for matches.

Finance

Finally, Reading’s financial situation is likely to dominate most scenarios again in 2022 in one way or another.

Despite great progress over the past year, the club still have a long way to go to balance their books and operate more sustainably.

The payroll remains extremely high and relatively large transfer fees are missed due to poor management of player contracts.

Don’t expect a lot of money to be spent in both transfer windows or for long contracts to be handed over to players.

Instead, the focus will need to be on building the interior and using the academy to unearth the next gems for the first team.

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Edward L. Robinett