#FM17 | Reading FC | part XIV | Stick with the team

Seven seasons with Reading in Football Manager 2017. From Championship bottom part of the table to the Champions League glory. This save went well so far and you can catch up with the whole story there if you want. 

I know it’s not the anniversary season like 10th or 20th but I decided to write about some players and the team itself because maybe some of you did not notice that I won the Champions League with 12 players from the original Reading squad.

header image royals save

These players were in the team at the start of the 2016/2017 season when this save started. Or they were on-loan during the first season.

Come and join the conversation in Slack. Do you want to know what #FMSlack is? Read here.

You know I’m not too much into transfers but during the first seasons I also bought players like Jack Byrne, Jermaine Anderson, Joshua Emmanuel and Jack Lee. These four players are in the club for 4+ seasons so I consider them a little bit like my own as well.

I like to play with youngsters but this save could become save for “pensioners” because I can’t sell some players.

Before the seventh season I took some time and think about this save. Some players are close to their thirties but I decided to stick with this team. I decided to play with these players until the end of their careers. Some of them maybe will want to go elsewhere. I can imagine some bigger club will buy Danny Loader.

But until it happens I want them in my team. I know their attributes will decreased and our team will be not that good but nevermind. When it happens there will be massive rebuilding and we can start to build a new team with youngsters and regens.

Let’s talk about players. There always screens from the 2016/2017 season (or from season when player came to the club) and after the 2022/2023 season.

Luke Southwood

This goalkeeper is 25 years old in the 2023. He was on loan at Crewe Alexandria and he played the League 2 in the first season of this save. After he came back to Reading he played 9 matches in the Championship in 2017/2018 season. Next season he played 21 matches and he became our number #1 in the first season in Premier League.

And he is our number #1 still. I know he is not the best keeper in the game. I can imagine we have much better keeper but he is reliable and he created new club record of clean sheets. He kept 23 clean sheets in the seventh season despite he was injured for month and he missed some games. He is also in England national team.

Jordan Obita

Left defender turned 29 during the 2022/2023 season and he decided to play for Nigeria instead of England during this save. He has now 325 matches for the club and he became our captain.

His choice to play for Nigeria was not good for us as he plays on Africa Cup of Nations during the season but he is one of our most important players. He had average rating around 7.5 in every season and from his Full Back position he scored 30 goals and made more than 50 assists so far. He was voted the best African defender of the year for three times so far.

Tyler Blackett

Jamaica central defender who can play also as left defender came to the club in the summer 2016 before I started this save. He was great in the first three season in Championship but he was the first who was unhappy about his wage and he wanted to increase wage due to his importance.

He was one foot in other club during the 2021/2022 season as he wanted to leave because I played more other central defenders but he broke his leg and he was out for half of the year. Despite this injury he played 23 games in the last season and he was very important for us during the Champions League campaign.

Dominic Samuel

He is great striker. One of the reason why I started this save. He can play in many forward positions and he played 249 matches and scored 140 goals so far. He had some injuries which limited him during this save and he would surely scored more.

He is now the best league goalscorer in the club history with 140 goals and I hope he will be good for many years.

George Evans

Central midfielder who can also play as CD or DM. Very reliable midfielder who played more than 200 matches so far and I can trust him in every matches he plays.

He is somewhat in the shadow of other players like John Swift or Jermaine Anderson but I really like him. He is great Deep Lying Playmaker or Box To Box midfielder.

John Swift

He did not get a chance in Chelsea before he joined the Reading in the summer 2016. He is fantastic Deep Lying Playmaker and same as Evans he also played more than 200 matches so far.

Same as Blackett he was one of a few players who moan about the wage after we were promoted to the Premier League but I was always able to negotiate his requirements and if he is fit and happy he is great midfielder.

Jake Cooper

Twenty-eight years old central defender who was listed for loan and also trasnfer listed at the start of the save. I removed him from the transfer list and promoted him from reserve squad to the first team.

He was my first choice as central defender from the first competitive match in this save. He had injury for 4 months in 2017 but that was last serious injury. He has 270 matches for the club so far with 14 goals and 10 assists and 32 player of the match awards.

He is in the England national team but did not play match so far at the international level. He was added to club legends after the 2021/2022 season. One of my most favorite players.

Liam Kelly

And here he is. My favorite one. Only 167 centimeters tall attacking midfielder is the heart of this team. He can play in the central midfield positions, attacking midfield positions and he is also very good as False 9 or Deep Lying Forward.

He became our free kick master during this save and he is also the first choice for corner kicks. He scored 52 league goals and made 51 asssists in his 208 league matches so far.

I wrote about him more in this article when I look on his development.

Tennai Watson

This right defender was at Walsall during the first season for loan spell. He played 42 matches for them and he become my first choice from the second season of this save as he was twenty years old and he needed playing time in Championship rather than in lower league once again.

He had the best season in 2019/2020, our first in the Premier League as he scored four goals and made 7 assists in 36 league matches.

Josh Barrett

This youngsters has a great potential also in the real life football world. I promoted him to the first team and he has more than 200 matches so far. Unfortunately he had some serious injuries during this save (7 weeks, 5 months, 6 weeks twice, 4 months, 3 months) so he suffered due to it.

His value after seven seasons is 30M, he is considered as our key player same as Liam Kelly and I can only hope he will not be injured too much in next years.

Ramarni Medford-Smith

The perfect cover. He will always be in the shadow of Jordan Obita as our captain is first choice for left defender position but I have to say Ramarni is the best backup player I could choose for this save.

He was in the Under 18 team at the start of the save but was promoted during the first season. Always ready to play if Obita is out or rotation is needed. He is still only 24 years old so if he will stay with us he can become the first choice thanks to his devotion for the club.

Danny Loader

All of you who read posts about this series know story of this striker as I also wrote about his development in the first five seasons.

He is the youngest player in the club history as he played in the EFL Cup First Round in August 2016 when he was 15 years and 347 days old. During the 2020/2021 season he made 20 assists what is the club record. Alf Bacon scored the most goals in a match (6) in April 1931 and if someone can break this record I think it will be Danny Loader.

After the Champions League win he wanted massive wage increase. His wage contribution was 84k per week and he wanted to increase it to 275k per week. This deal should contain 38,5k goal bonus for example and the wage of 205k per week. I declined it, he fired his agent and I wait what happens next. Despite that he is great.

As I wrote at the start there are also other four players in the squad which I bought during this save. Midfielders Jermaine Anderson and Jack Byrne and defenders Jack Lee and Joshua Emmanuel.

Anderson became our central midfield leader and he is also vice-captain. Byrne, Lee and Emmanuel are mainly backup players but they are the first choice if players like Anderson, Cooper or Watson are not available to play.

There is their profile comparison from the time they came to the club and current time.

The last comparison of this post. Just take a look at the first team squad from the start of the save in 2016 and the squad after the Champions League win in 2023.

Everything changed. Wages, values, ability…

Come and join the conversation in Slack. Do you want to know what #FMSlack is? Read here.

Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie.



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