Reading have completed the signing of promising left-back Joseph Mills, who joins from Npower Championship rivals Southampton on a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old defender, who is the younger brother of former Royals captain Matt, completed his medical yesterday morning before training with his new teammates, and goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's trip to Charlton in the Carling Cup.
Brian McDermott revealed he has high hopes for Mills, who has an option for a further year depending on his progression, and explained how the deal had been a long time coming for the Berkshire based club.
"We tried to get him into the Academy when he was only 12, so we know him really well," he confirmed. "He's obviously Matt's brother, a left-back who can play in midfield as well - a versatile player who can pass the ball.
"He's had a tough time down at Southampton over the last year or so, but he's been out on loan and done well out on loan, so we're looking forward to having him here.
"We've been talking for the last two or three weeks, trying to come to a conclusion and today we've done it, so we're pleased to get him.
"We hope that he does well in his time at Reading and we've got a good feeling about him," he continued. "He's settled in straight away and he'll be in the squad tomorrow night at Charlton."
Speaking about how the move materialised, Mills explained that once he knew of Reading's interest, his mind was made up as there was only one place he wanted to be.
"When I knew the interest was there from Reading, [brother] Matt [Mills] was the first person I spoke to," he said. "He had nothing but good words to say about the club, he loved every minute of his time here and I knew this was a club who knew what they were doing.
"He said what a good club it was and that the team spirit was brilliant."
Outlining his aspirations for the season ahead, Mills knows he faces a tough challenge in displacing the experienced Ian Harte at left-back, but vowed to get his head down in order to progress.
"Hartey is a great player who has played in the top divisions, I'll be watching him in training, speaking to him and learning from his experiences," he continued. "If he's got any words of wisdom for me I'll be keen to listen.
"But he's in the left back position at the moment, I'll have to bide my time, work hard on the training pitch first and foremost and grab my chance when I get it."