Key Player: Pavel Pogrebnyak
In: Danny Guthrie, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Nicky Shorey
Out: Mathieu Manset, Michail Antonio
The Royals have been in the top flight before – and actually had a good campaign before crashing back to the Championship — but there is very little in Brian McDermott’s side to suggest that anything but a remarkable season from Pogrebnyak will suffice. As the major off-season addition up front, the Russian must put up big numbers if Reading is to do anything beyond treading water in hopes that they will hit the last month of the season with hopes of avoiding relegation.
Coming up from the Championship is difficult enough: coming up without spending big money to reinforce the side makes the challenge ridiculously difficult. Reading will try to rely on spirit and the ability of a still-Championship level roster to lift its game. Danny Guthrie comes over from Newcastle while Shorey moves from West Brom but neither is the type of addition to transform a side, Pogrebnyakmay not be either: but Reading is gambling that he can make a major difference.