The 11th season of my FM17 save with Reading is over and I decided to make another update of players who are in the club from the beginning. Some of them already left us in previous two seasons but it was not a huge exodus. But some them wanted to go for a new challenge and I decided to not stay in their way.
I wrote “Stick with the team” at the end of the January this year and this part was after the seventh season with Reading.
Another four years are behind us and some of the players from the original squad are already in different position and their role in the squad is slowly changing.
A short transfers summary from previous 11 seasons.
- Players Bought – 51
- Value – 82M
- Players Sold – 37
- Value – 106M
- Highest fee spent – 17M for Alonso Cuate on 1/1/2027
- Highest fee received – 11.75M for Jack Byrne on 31/1/2024
If I count right there are still 9 players from the original squad + Jermaine Anderson, Jack Lee and Joshua Emmanuel who were bought at the very beginning of the save.
Let’s take a look at the players…
Luke Southwood, now 29, was on loan at Crewe Alexandria and he played the League 2 in the first season of this save and he became our number #1 in the first season in Premier League.
In previous eight seasons, he made around 50 matches per season. In the 2020/2021 season, he played 62 matches and 61 matches in the 2025/2026 season.
Jordan Obita is the oldest player in the squad as he is now 33 years old. He already has 388 matches for the club and he would have more if he would not play for Nigeria at Africa Cup of Nations.
He is one of two or three players who slowly changing their role from key player to rotation/backup as he is not too effective as in the previous seasons but he is our captain and he could be a still very good player. But his physical attributes are worse and worse…
Dominic Samuel is 32 years old now and he is the best goalscorer in the club history. He now had 239 goals in 423 matches and 178 goals in 342 matches.
Due to some injuries in the previous years, he was outplayed by regen Antony Molloy but I think he could still be very useful for us. And more importantly, I will try to train him for Shadow Striker/Enganche role.
Jake Cooper. One of the most reliable defenders I’ve ever have in Football Manager. He is also a very loyal player and despite he had a chance to join Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, he rejected their offers every time.
He has 418 matches for Royals so far and he is one of the club legends already.
John Swift was our key central midfielder in both our formations 4-3-3 & 4-3-1-2 but his playing time will be probably lesser and lesser because some young players will get a chance in the Premier League and Swift will probably be our “Cup player”.
He played 342 matches so far with an average rating of 7.06.
Liam Kelly. My little big man. One of three players I selected at the start of the save I will build the team around. When he received his first Ireland national team call-up it was the same joy as I would receive it myself.
He was voted four times in a row Ireland player of the year and he is close to breaking 400 matches for Reading. He was our False Nine when we use the 4-3-3 formation, our Shadow Striker in 4-3-1-2 and he was again False Nine in this formation in the last two seasons as I decided I don’t want to waste Josh Barrett on the bench.
Jermaine Anderson. He joined us in the summer 2017 so he is with the club for ten years now. Our main central midfielder for the whole time and he is also vice-captain for many years.
362 matches and 28 goals so far. Very important in the Deep Lying Playmaker role and he was one of the most important players when we switched from 4-3-3 to 4-3-1-2 as he is able to play in all central midfield roles so he is very useful every time when we try something new.
Tennai Watson. Thirty years old right defender became our biggest weapon in term of defensive players. He wanted to go out during the 2024/2025 season as he wanted more silverware but I think it was right decision to stay here…
Joshua Emmanuel. Another right defender who is one year younger than Watson and he came to the club in 2019 from Ipswich as a backup player.
He was always patient and happy to cover Watson but during the last season, he played more matches as he had much better form than Watson so their roles changed a little bit. We’ll see how it will work in the future…
Josh Barrett. It’s fair to say this great midfielder is in the shadow of Liam Kelly. But as I said above I decided to play Kelly in the F9 role and Barrett took his Shadow Striker position and their cooperation is fantastic.
If I have some injury or disciplinary issues and I change formation to 4-3-3, these two are great in False Nine roles. Barrett has 371 matches and 91 goals.
Jack Lee. Always backup player after his move from Sheffield Wednesday in 2018 but same as Cooper, Lee is very reliable and prepared to play every time.
He played 146 matches so far and scored five goals. He was always very patient and never moaned about a lack of playing time. He also earned one England national team call-up and played one match for his nation.
Danny Loader. The last man from the original squad, respectively from the club itself because Danny was a part of the U18s team at the start of the save and he was promoted to the senior squad when he was 15 years old.
His record is very good as he scored 230 goals in 393 matches so far. He became the best goalscorer of the last year’s Champions League with 10 goals in ten matches.
He has 15 national caps with 4 goals so far. His best season was 2024/2025 in which he played 60 matches – scored 45 goals and made 25 assists.
Tyler Blackett, Jack Byrne, Ramarni Medford-Smith, George Evans – four players who left the club in the previous season as they wanted a new challenge and I wrote about them in the first part of “Stick with the team”.
There are also some regens who are a couple years with us but I decided to write just only about the “real” players from the original squad.
As I said many times before, I will play with these players until they will want to be in the club or until they will retire.
Some of them wanted to left for a new challenge – Samuel decided to stay only after we won some trophies in last three seasons so he will probably be the first who will leave when we will win nothing. Same as Swift or Anderson.
I’m more than happy to stay with this save until the FM18 and it doesn’t matter if I will not win a single trophy because my players will be old and we will fight for Premier League status. No one can take us five Champions League trophies.
Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie.
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