New signing Joseph Mills is unfazed at Championship level, writes Dan from Reading blog The Tilehurst End.
Mills made only 14 appearances for us in under a year with the club so didn’t make the most amazing contribution to our Championship-winning season – though he still played a part.
We originally signed him on a one-year deal from Southampton for a nominal fee and with Ian Harte looking a spent force, it wasn’t long before Mills came into the side at left-back.
With him in the team we slowly started to pick up a bit of form but he was unlucky to pick up an injury just before Christmas which let Ian Harte back into the mix – and Harte never looked back.
From that point on Mills played just once – on the left of the midfield – and did OK but was never really a serious threat to Harte, who once again wrapped up a spot in the PFA team of the year (although I can’t say I agree with the voting process for those things!).
Mills did pen a new long-term deal earlier this year, but the signing of Nicky Shorey means that there’s no place for a third left-back in a 25-man Premier League squad.
As a player he’s got a fair amount of pace and isn’t afraid to hit the byline and get a cross in. His crossing is OK, though nothing spectacular, while he’s also fairly useful taking set pieces. He’s not the biggest guy in the world but he’s not bad in the tackle and doesn’t seem fazed at Championship level at all.
You may have noticed that for most things I’ve described him as OK or not bad and that’s generally what you’re getting right now, a left-back who is okay but right now won’t set the world alight. The great thing about him is he’s a really decent lad and at just 22 is a player that has plenty of time to develop.
He showed his best form for the team after playing eight or nine in a row and it was only due to injury coupled with a very impressive season from Harte, that meant he didn’t get close to the team for most of 2012.
Burnley could have a real bargain on their hands with Mills, as with regular playing time and a bit of stability he could go on to great things.
As Reading fans we’ll always appreciate the part he played in on our Championship winning season and hope he helps you guys beat Bolton and his brother Matt twice next year.
Do you think Mills will be a regular or backup? Is he what we need? Comment below.
Thanks to The Tilehurst End – one of our favourite Club blogs – for this post.