Nigerian Dele-Bashiru bids farewell to Reading and returns to relegated Watford


Nigerian youth star Tom Dele-Bashiru has dismissed EFL Championship side Reading after ending his loan spell at the club.

The 22-year-old joined the Royals on a season-long loan from relegated Premier League side Watford, in order to get more playing time and fully regain his fitness.

“Thank you to the players, staff and fans of Reading for immediately making me feel at home and for the incredible support you have shown me,” Dele-Bashiru wrote on his Twitter username.

“It has been a tough season full of ups and downs but I have enjoyed every minute. I wish the club the best of luck going forward.”

His statement has already been well received by Reading fans, who wished him luck.

@jamiesimmo5 wrote in response: ‘Good luck Watford next season’, while @manofficial123 said, “We will miss you very much, see you soon King.”

Meanwhile, @SimonPovey95 said, “Best regards, Tom, and thank you…”, while @RFCLatest thanked him for his services saying, “All the best for the future, Tom! “.

Dele-Bashiru made his professional debut on 19 December 2017 in the EFL Cup against Leicester City, coming on as a 91st-minute substitute for Phil Foden and playing in extra time.

On July 24, 2019, Dele-Bashiru joined Watford on a six-year deal after his contract with Manchester City expired. He made his Watford debut and scored the opening goal in a 3-3 draw against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup third round.

On his first league start, Dele-Bashiru was injured in the first half against Reading on October 3, 2020. It was confirmed that he will undergo surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament injury and will be away for about six months.

Dele-Bashiru’s last Championship appearance came on 7 May for Reading against Luton Town, a game he played 12 minutes in a 1-0 defeat. In total, the midfielder has scored four league goals in 2021-22, making him the league’s third top scorer and providing two assists.

Dele-Bashiru was the league’s last goal in the 3-2 win over Swansea City on November 27, scoring in the fourth minute. He opened his account for the campaign against Peterborough United on September 14, scoring twice in a 3–1 win.

Although he represented the England U16 team, Dele-Bashiru is also eligible for Nigeria. He was part of the Nigeria U20 squad during the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland. Dele-Bashiru scored Nigeria’s third goal in their first win against Qatar, with the match ending 4-0.

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