Reading FC all but confirmed their status as a Championship club for another season, with a well-deserved 0-0 draw with promotion-chasing West Brom on Monday.
The Madejski Stadium faithful have got Jose Gomes to thank for their recent turnaround in form which has seen them fire themselves out of the bottom three.
It looked like the Royals were only heading in one direction, heading towards 2019, and that was League One under Paul Clement.
But with Clement being dismissed after a relatively short spell in Berkshire, Gomes was seen as a risky move, given that he hasn’t managed in English football before.
The Reading boss brought in a number of players on loan in January’s transfer window, and it’s safe to say that they’ve certainly made a positive impact.
One man in particular has stood out, with Arsenal’s Emiliano Martinez saving the Royals valuable points, which have proved to be enough to keep them in the Championship for another season.
It originally seemed unlikely that Martinez would link up with Reading for another season though, with the shot-stopper being linked with a return to the Arsenal first-team, with Petr Cech looking set to depart in the summer.
But it seems highly unlikely that Martinez is going to first choice in Unai Emery’s squad next season, and he’ll be second choice behind Bernard Leno.
It’s been reported by Football.London that Martinez could leave the club in the summer if he isn’t given regular game time with the Gunners next season, which is likely to see a number of clubs register there interest in signing the Spaniard.
Reading will feel as though they have the advantage in signing him ahead of other clubs, as Martinez will be well aware about the club and what is expected of them in next year’s league campaign.
He’s been crucial to their Championship survival this season, and he would be a real coup if they managed to pull of the permanent signing of him in the summer.
But after such an impressive first spell with the club, it’s surely going to be a no-brainer for the Royals to try and sign him after this latest report.
If they can sign Martinez and a couple more of the loanees that have been with the club since January, then I really think we could see Reading challenging for a top six finish next season.