Sky Bet Championship side Reading have secured young defender Tennai Watson’s services until the summer of 2021.

The 20-year-old defender rose through the academy ranks at the Madejski Stadium, during which he enjoyed a starring role in the Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup run to the semi-final stage in 2014 where the Royals beat Liverpool in the quarter-finals before losing over two legs to Fulham.

Impressive performances at under-21 and under-23 level meant that the First Team soon began to take note and on the opening day of the 2016-17 season Watson was given his professional debut, coming on as a second half substitute in the home win over Preston North End.

Illness and injury limited Watson’s appearances though however the right-back has now returned to training and is featuring once again for the under-23 side.

Speaking after tieing the defender down with a new contract, Manager Jaap Stam said: “Tennai is a promising young full-back with a lot of potential, so it’s good news that he has signed a new deal with the club.

“He has pace, key defensive qualities and he likes to get forward when he can, so I look forward to seeing him make more progress once he returns to full fitness after his injury.”

Meanwhile Chief Executive on Gourlay spoke of his pleasure at the academy product extending his time at the Madejski Stadium

“Tennai is another young footballer who has come through our Academy system to break into the first team and he is held in very high regard at Reading. I look forward to seeing him take the next step in his career as a Royal.”

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