Reading finished the 2021-22 EFL Championship season in 21st place, just one spot above the relegation zone. This was a far cry from the side that finished 7th, which is just one spot below the promotion play-offs, in the season prior to the last one. Were it not for Derby County’s 21 point deduction, it might well have been the Royals who would have been relegated to EFL League One as they themselves were deducted six points. The only thing Reading now have is to look forward to the next season where they will hope to improve. The Royals have signed Tom Ince from Stoke City on a permanent basis to achieve that.
Ince played 26 matches in the recent EFL Championship season for both Stoke City and Reading (11 for the former and 15 for the latter). He played a total of 1781 minutes for both clubs. During his time on the pitch, he scored five goals at a rate of 0.23 per 90. Ince registered just over 1.7 shots per 90 and mustered only 27% of these attempts on target. His biggest strength, though, came in his dribbling as he attempted 4.64 dribbles per 90 at a respectable success rate of 68%. He also won nearly 53% of the offensive duels he contested, putting him in the top 6% among forwards.
Ince also registered one assist in addition to his five goals. He was more active and involved in build-up play than 84% of the forwards, averaging 25 pass attempts per 90 at a near 80% accuracy. He was also more than capable of ball progression from deep, completing just a shade below 70% of his balls into the attacking third. Ince made 2.37 progressive runs per 90, which put him in the top 12% among forwards. He was also placed in the 92nd percentile among forwards for long balls, with 1.81 per 90 to his name.
In the above heat map, we can see that Ince primarily featured on the right wing for Reading during the second half of the EFL Championship season. He completed 14 tackles, 11 interceptions and drew more fouls (25) than committed them (14). Additionally, he also completed 61 crosses for the Royals.
As seen from the above pass map, Ince made the overwhelming majority of the passes on the right hand side of the pitch. He also completed more than 25 passes into the opponents’ penalty area, showing his ability to create threats. Judging by his advanced position on the pitch, he also received lots of progressive passes from teammates.
Tom Ince played a lot more minutes for Reading on loan from Stoke City in the second half of the season than at Stoke in the first half. It is clear why the Royals opted to sign the winger on a permanent basis heading into the 2022-23 season.