Ireland under-21 Josh Barrett joins Coventry City on loan after signing new Reading dealWed, Dec 27 2017
Republic of Ireland under-21 international Josh Barrett has joined Coventry City on loan until the end of the season after signing a new long-term contract at Reading.
The Oxford-born midfielder has opted to link up with the promotion-chasing League Two side after putting pen to paper on a deal that will take him through to the summer of 2021.
The 19-year-old made his senior bow for the Royals at the tail end of the 2015/16 season but has been limited to Football League Trophy and EFL Cup action in the 18 months since.
Having initially appeared to slip back in the pecking order Jaap Stam, the midfielder has suitably impressed the Dutchman to earn a deal that ensures his long-term future is in Berkshire.
After making his way through the age grades with Ireland, Barrett made his under-21 bow against Slovenia in March 2016.
Versatile Barrett's most recent senior appearance for Reading came in the EFL Cup victory over Gillingham in August.
“Josh is a footballer with a great deal of potential – he has been demonstrating that this season in training and with our under-23s, and he has earned his new deal at Reading,” Stam said.
“He will learn a lot with Coventry about playing competitive football and what kind of expectation that brings, how demanding the schedule can be, and hopefully he can help them in their push for promotion.
“It is up to Josh to earn and keep a place in their team by performing well and showing a good attitude, and I wish him every success during his time there.”
Technical director Brian Tevreden added: “Josh has made an excellent contribution for Scott Marshall’s Under-23s so far this season, and it is important for his development as a player that he continues to push his boundaries.
“This loan with Coventry City will undoubtedly help him to understand the rigours of a league campaign and we wish him every success in his time there.
“And we look forward to welcoming Josh back in the summer, when he will bring that experience back with him to continue his progress in the blue and white hoops with a much-deserved new contract.”
Barrett won't have the opportunity to link up with his former Ireland under-19 teammate Darragh Leahy at Coventry, however, after the former St Kevin's Boys youth left the club by mutual consent.