Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has revealed his admiration for winger Junior Hoilett dates back to when he first played against him at the start of last season.

Earlier this summer, Reading moved to recruit winger Junior Hoilett on a free transfer.

The Canadian international linked up with the Royals on a bargain deal after being let go by fellow Championship side Cardiff City.

Now, speaking with Berkshire Live, Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has revealed he has been a long-term admirer of Hoilett, way before they were able to strike a deal this summer.

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Paunovic has said he first caught his eye at the start of last season in the early stages of his time with the Royals.

He added that finances meant the club couldn’t strike a deal in the early stages of Hoilett’s free agency, but the move was made once the financial side was sorted. Here’s what he had to say:

“We’ve always liked him, even when he played against us at the beginning of last season.

“Our financial situation wasn’t good so when he was out there [as a free agent] we couldn’t bring him in earlier but we figured it out and are very happy to have him.”

With Paunovic happy to have eventually got his man, Hoilett will be hoping to live up to expectations and play an important role this season.

His season so far

Overall, the 31-year-old has played seven times for Reading since his arrival.

After going his first six outings without a goal, Hoilett bagged his first for the club in Reading’s victory over former club Cardiff at the weekend. It was the decisive goal in the tie as the Royals secured their fourth win in four games, seeing them rise to 10th place after a challenging start to the campaign.