Nigerian Midfielder Hope Akpan Signs For Reading
Crawley Town midfielder Hope Akpan has become Reading FC's second signing of the January transfer window.
The 21-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Madejski Stadium today, just days after coming up against the Royals in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie.
The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of £300,000.
Akpan came through the youth system at Everton before joining Crawley on a free transfer in June 2011, where he went on to score eight goals in 60 appearances.
Manager Brian McDermott said: "I'm delighted to have signed Hope, we have known all about him for a very long time.
"He has a great pedigree coming through the ranks at a top Premier League side in Everton. There were a lot of clubs in for him during this window but once he heard of our interest this was the only place he wanted to play.
"He's 21 and is a player we feel can play at this level."
He added: "He's played more than 50 games for Crawley already, and any of our fans at the game on Saturday will have seen the qualities he brings. He is hungry and will be very committed to our cause.
"We're delighted to get him and I know our fans will give him every support in his time here."
The six-footer made a second half appearance as the Royals beat QPR 3-1 in a friendly this afternoon, with fellow new signing Daniel Carrico also playing in midfield.
Reading's director of football Nick Hammond said: "It is very important we continue to identify and develop young players that we feel can play at this level, both from our own academy and also from outside the club.
"We are delighted to have signed Hope and I would also like to thank Steve Coppell [Crawley Town director of football] for his assistance in completing this deal, even though it was a new experience having Steve on the other side of the table!"