Paul Ince was named permanent Reading manager in May after embarking on a 14-game caretaking tenure in charge of the Royals.
The former Manchester United midfielder guided the Berkshire-based club to safety in the Championship after finishing 21st in the table and four points above the relegation zone.
Of his 14 games in charge, the 54-year-old, who managed MK Dons, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool and Notts County after starting his coaching career with Macclesfield Town, has won four, drawn three and lost seven.
Now, the former England international has taken over the reins of the Select Car Leasing Stadium on a permanent basis and Ince has already started building his squad.
Reading begin their tenth consecutive campaign in the Championship with a trip to Blackpool on Saturday July 30.
HITC Sport take a look at how Reading could line up for the clash against Michael Appleton’s Seasiders.
How Reading could line up
Joe Lumley appears to be Ince’s number one after joining Middlesbrough on a season-long loan.
The 27-year-old made 39 appearances last season and was part of the Boro side that beat Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.
Last season’s Player of the Year, Alan Yiadom, has been named the club’s new captain and the Ghana international is hoping to lead by example as a right-back.
Tom Holmes could be joined at the heart of the defense by current trials player Sam Hutchinson who is training with the Royals during pre-season following his release from Sheffield on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old, who came through the academy at Chelsea, made 31 appearances for the Owls last season.
After spending last season on loan at Reading, Ince could be considering removing Chelsea’s forgotten man Baba Rahman from the Blues again.
The Ghanaian international left-back cost £20m from West London in 2015 after signing from German side Augsburg.
But the 28-year-old hasn’t played for the Stamford Bridge side for over six years. The Irish Sun are reporting that Reading are interested in re-signing Rahman who made 29 Championship appearances last season.
With the influential John Swift, who scored 11 goals and 13 assists last season, no longer at the club after joining West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer after his contract with Reading expired, Ince has already brought midfield reinforcements.
Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick has arrived on a season-long loan from Newcastle United and will add quality, bite and experience to the engine room at Reading.
The former Burnley man could be joined in midfield by fellow Premier League loanee Tyrese Fornah who arrives from Nottingham Forest after a loan spell with Shrewsbury Town last season.
The 22-year-old doesn’t have the same experience as Hendrick but the pair could strike up a fruitful partnership if Ince chooses to go with the youngster who has just one Championship appearance under his belt.
Ince’s son Tom will fill the right-hand position and hopes to lead his father’s charge by cutting inside the touchline and contributing a host of goals and assists.
The 30-year-old has struggled for consistency in recent years, but perhaps playing under his old man could help Ince regain the form that has seen him score in double figures in four league campaigns.
Canada international Junior Hoilett could fill the left-wing position after joining Reading from Cardiff City last summer.
Like Ince, Hoilett was another player who was tipped for stardom, but at the age of 32 he failed to live up to his budding potential.
The pair is capable of being winners, but they can also miss in matches. Ince’s job will be to get the best out of the talented pair.
Aside from Swift, Lucas Joao was the only other Reading player to reach double figures in the Championship last season with him ten times.
After scoring 19 league goals in the 2020-21 season, the 28-year-old will be aiming for more ahead of the new season.
The Reading number 18 could be joined from the start by former Royals star Shane Long.
The 35-year-old is a free agent following his release from Southampton and he could be set for a return to Berkshire.
During his six years at Reading, the Republic of Ireland international scored 54 goals, including 23 in the 2010-11 league season.
Long still owns his pace and he would bring an injection of firepower alongside Ince which would help soften the loss of Swift.
In other news, Report: Lampard personally leads Everton bid to sign £30m phenom