Tommy Elphick’s future at the club has been pretty uncertain for quite a long time. Reports have suggested that Reading are keen to sign him on a permanent deal this summer.
However, the Reading Chronicle say that the centre-back’s move to the Madejski Stadium could have stalled. It is believed that Steve Bruce has left the door open to the 30-year-old to remain at the club and fight for his first-team place.
It seems like a very good decision on the face of it. With the departures of John Terry and Chris Samba, we are lacking options in the centre of defence, and while there has been talk of recruiting Robert Huth, keeping Tommy would give us so much needed experience without having to recruit.
It’s no secret that Bruce isn’t the former captain’s biggest fan. A regular under Roberto Di Matteo, he was very quickly discarded when the new manager took charge, being an unused substitute for the most part during the rest of the 2016/17 season.
With the arrival of Terry last summer, things became even more difficult for him, yet he has always remained professional. When our captain was injured last campaign, Elphick was recalled and looked solid in the three starts he was given at the turn of the year.
Despite then being shipped out on loan and then getting sidelined with a serious knee injury, he impressed Royals boss Paul Clement enough during the last two games of the season to want him on a permanent basis.
At 30 years of age, he’s younger than some potential free transfer signings like Huth (33) and McAuley (38), and he has experience of promotion from the Championship with Bournemouth.
Although certainly not a Premier League level defender, like Chester and former centre-back partner Terry, Elphick certainly deserves to be afforded another chance, and in our current situation, he’s certainly someone that Bruce would be foolish to turn his back on.