Reading have today confirmed the signing of Leandro Bacuna from Championship rivals Aston Villa on their club website.
Bacuna, who can play either in defence or midfield, has arrived at the Madejski Stadium on a four-year deal, and will join up with Jaap Stam’s men this week.
As fate would have it, the Royals host Bacuna’s former side Villa on Tuesday evening, a game for which the Curaçao international will be available, subject to ratification from the Football League.
Stam is evidently delighted with this capture, saying:
“Leandro is a player that we have been following for a while – he has played Premier League football and brings quality to us.”
“He is the type of player who can play in several positions in the team – in midfield, at the back, or even sometimes as a winger. He is a player with the right mentality and who wants to go forward; these are the types of players that we want to have.”
Meanwhile, Reading Chief Executive Ron Gourlay stated:
“We are delighted to bring another quality addition into Jaap’s side. Leandro is a footballer who has already played a great deal of football at a high level, but we believe that he has the capacity to develop even further and improve with us at Reading – and hopefully to be part of a successful Royals team.”
Bacuna, who will wear the number 19 this campaign, joined Aston Villa in 2013, for his first experience of English football, having made more than 100 appearances for Dutch side Groningen.
Villa boss Steve Bruce named the 25-year-old in his starting XI against Hull City for their opening game of the season, but the versatile player will now be plying his trade further south.
The player himself has said:
“I’m very happy – I think it’s going to be a different step for me, and I’m delighted to get going. There have been a few ups and downs but in the end we got it over the line.”
“It’s a really nice step to try and come here to play for Jaap Stam as well. I’m really delighted and I’m really happy that I can start this new journey, to be honest.”
“Reading try to play from the back and they’re really patient. I think that will suit me and it will suit the players, I’ll try and do my best to help the team and try to get some wins.
Bacuna, who has made 13 appearances for his national side, will be hoping to use his experience to aid the Royals in their promotion push, with Stam’s men having fallen at the final hurdle last campaign, reaching the Play-off Final, where they lost on penalties to Huddersfield at Wembley.