‘I feel a lot of love for me to come here’ – Oliveira pledges to work hard for Reading after leaving City on loan
PUBLISHED: 21:01 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 23 January 2019
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Norwich City outcast Nelson Oliveira has joined struggling Championship side Reading on loan until the end of the season.
The Portugal international had been linked with the Royals in recent days and the loan has been confirmed this evening, with the striker being given the squad number 22.
Confirming the deal on their website, a Canaries statement simply concluded: “Everyone at Norwich City would like to wish Nelson all the best for the rest of the season.”
Norwich have been trying to move the 27-year-old on since last summer, with his game time restricted to under-23 football this season, scoring three goals in four games.
“I’m happy to sign with Reading, I spoke with Jose (Gomes, manager) and I feel a lot of love for me to come here, and that’s important for me at this stage of my career,” Oliveira told iFollow Reading. “So I’m very pleased, I’m very happy to join Reading.
“I spoke with him, I know the style of football he plays, I think that suits me as well, he told me good things about Reading, about the players, so I was convinced to come.
“The only thing I can promise is I will work as hard as I can to help Reading and to make them (the fans) happy.”
Former Rio Ave boss Gomes succeeded Paul Clement at the Madejski Stadium last month but has won just one of his opening five games in charge, leaving his team third from bottom and two points adrift of safety.
Reading boss Gomes told his club’s website: “Nelson is a striker who certainly possesses that vital killer instinct. He is strong, powerful and technically good with the ball at his feet. And he thrives on scoring goals.
“So we are delighted he has chosen to join us for the final 18 games of our season.”
Signed from Benfica for around £5m in August 2016, Oliveira has scored 20 goals in 70 games for Norwich and proved popular during his first campaign with the club.
However, he publicly disrespected head coach Daniel Farke by waving his shirt in the head coach’s face at Fulham on the opening day of last season, after coming off the bench to score and rescue a 1-1 draw.
He scored eight goals in 40 games under Farke but just one in his last 22, often shooting wildly from long distance, and has not featured at all since a 5-1 loss at Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of last season.
Oliveira continued: “I think the style he (Gomes) plays is technical, so I think that suits my style of play, so I’m very excited to start training with all the boys and to meet the players and to start getting ready.
“I don’t know too many personally but I think I have played against almost all of them and have played with a few of them as well. I remember Modou Barrow from Swansea and of course Tiago Ilori is a player that I know very well.
“I know the league, I’ve played here for two-and-a-half years already, so I know that can help me but I think the most important thing is to get to know my team-mates and get involved, because if I am well and settled, who you play against is not particularly important.”
Sporting director Stuart Webber has made it clear since last summer that the player and club want to part ways, with his contract due to run until 2020.
With Oliveira thought to be one of City’s higher earners, a loan deal for the remainder of the season brings a temporary resolution, allowing for a potential summer sale if he can find form.
With Reading also having no chance of joining the promotion race, it avoids loaning the forward to a potential rival, but his goals could damage other teams hoping to be in the promotion mix.
Oliveira will not be able to play for the Royals when they come to Carrow Road on Tuesday, April 9 either.
When asked about helping to keep Reading away from relegation trouble, the Portuguese concluded: “I thought it was a good opportunity for my career, this four months, to get myself playing games, to try to help the team.
“I know Reading are struggling a bit with results in the table but like I said before, i know the players and if you look at the squad I would say there is 80 percent of the squad that two years ago went to the play-off final, the quality is there, we just need to start winning games and putting in good performances.
“What is important is trying to help the team because, I will be honest, I’m not a big fan of personal statistics. It is about helping the team, in my position as a striker it is about much more than just scoring goals, I can help the team even without scoring.
“So my main target is to help Reading to start winning games and getting good results because I think the fan deserve that.”