New Reading manager Jaap Stam has promised to reinvigorate the floundering Royals by bringing a brand of easy-on-the-eye attacking football to the Madejski Stadium next season.
It’s a lofty claim from a man embarking on his first ever campaign as a manager, but Reading fans will feel hopeful that Stam can parlay his vast playing experience into a successful managerial career.
After all, the disappointment of last season was only softened ever so slightly by the fact that, finishing 17th in the Championship, Reading narrowly avoided a drop to English football’s third tier, so the only way is up, surely.
Stam may not bring much – or any, in fact – managerial experience to his new role in Berkshire, but a Champions League winner as a player, and, at his best, considered one of the finest defenders of his generation, the Dutchman has plenty of transferrable skills and knowledge to draw upon.
But before a ball is even kicked, Stam will first have to wrestle with the unfamiliarity of the transfer market if he hopes to reinforce the squad he has taken control of. Moreover, with the former Manchester United and AC Milan player’s ambitions of returning the Royals to the level of Premier League promotion candidates, Stam will surely need to make some astute additions to a squad which lumbered around the lower reaches of the table last season.
And having already made the addition of Finland goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, Stam appears to have turned his attention to a more attack-minded recruit.
Hertha Berlin winger Roy Beerens is the man Stam seems to have earmarked to provide some much-needed creativity and flair to Reading’s offensive play, and the 28-year-old is reported to be close to sealing a switch to the Madejski stadium.
Sky Sports are reporting that the deal is as good as done: “Reading are set to sign Dutch winger Roy Beerens from Hertha Berlin on a three-year deal, according to Sky sources.
“Beerens looks set to join the Championship outfit, who finished 17th last season, for a fee of €1m (£830,000) and will sign a three-year contract.”
The Football Whispers Index is giving the rumours of a potential Beerens move to Reading a score of 4.4 out of five, which makes us believe that there is a very strong possibility that Stam will get his man.
Beerens came through the youth academy at PSV Eindhoven and graduated to make 10 first-team appearances for the Eredivisie heavyweights, before moving on to Heerenveen in 2007 after an impressive loan spell at NEC.
For four seasons, Beerens was a regular in the Heerenveen line-up, scoring 25 Eredivisie goals in 114 appearances. A move to AZ Alkmaar then followed, where 13 goals in 93 appearances between 2011 and 2014 earned him a move to the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin.
In the two seasons since Beerens’s move to Germany, he has featured 29 times for Die Alte Dame, but only three of those appearances came last season, totalling just 111 minutes of first team football – even managing to get sent off in one of those games.
So it makes sense that Beerens would be open to a move away from the German capital, and would potentially be prepared to take a step down to the Championship to do so.
If Reading do manage to complete the signing of Beerens, they will be acquiring a player with a respectable international pedigree. The Bladel-born winger was part of the Netherlands’ 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship-winning squad, and has two senior caps to his name.
Known for his electric pace and entertaining dribbling skills, Beerens could be just the man to help Stam deliver the attacking football he has promised.