Steve Clarke knew he had to sign Orlando Sa when the striker revealed he intends to fire Reading back into the Premier League.
The Royals were relegated from the top-flight at the end of the 2012-13 season, when they finished second-bottom and some 11 points adrift of safety. They missed out on a playoff place by just one point in their first campaign back in the Championship in 2013-14, yet last term they were well off the pace and finished up just nine points clear of a drop into League One.
Clarke will be expecting much more from his players this time round, and the Scottish coach has made his first signing of the summer by adding Sa for an undisclosed fee from Legia Warsaw. The striker scored once in seven matches for Fulham during 2011-12, and his determination to play in the Premier League again convinced his new boss to take a chance on him.
“The striking department was one area of the team that everyone agreed needed strengthening this season,” he told the official club website. “Orlando’s goal record is really impressive, but I was most impressed by his answer about why he wanted to come to play for Reading. Immediately he replied ‘I want to play in the Premier League again and Reading can take me there’.”
Sa, who has signed a three-year contract, played for Braga, Maria Fonte (loan), Porto and Nacional (loan) before first arriving in England, but it is his last two clubs where he has become something of a prolific goalscorer. Thee Portugal international, who has one cap for his country, scored 18 times in 39 games for Limassol and, last season, 14 from 33 league matches for Legia.