Reading FC have confirmed the capture of Charlie Savage from Old Trafford on a four-year deal.
A number of clubs across England had reportedly been interested in the Manchester United graduate before Reading made their move. The League One side are therefore “delighted” to welcome Savage to their ranks, ahead of an important season under new manager, Rubén Sellés.
The Spanish coach described the midfielder as an “exciting young player” who will prove “great” for the team’s dynamic.
Having spent the second half of last season on loan at Forest Green Rovers, Savage played 15 times and scored his first senior goal. Rovers manager, Duncan Ferguson, was effusive in his praise of the United loanee following an impressive performance against Sheffield Wednesday in March:
“He’s been fantastic for me. On Sunday [against Sheffield Wednesday], he covered more than 12 kilometres. He was wearing the vest that tracks his distance. That’s incredible…He’s 19-years old, what an engine he’s got. And he’s a good player.”
Reading will be keen to utilise this combination of ability and athleticism in central midfield as the club seeks promotion back to the Championship, having suffered relegation last season.
It marks the end of a lifetime in Manchester for Savage, who joined United’s academy as the tender age of five.
Savage would progress through the youth system before making his debut for the senior team in a Champions League match, against the aptly named Young Boys. The youngster described the experience as the “proudest moment of my life so far”; one which fulfilled a “childhood dream.”
He would also captain the side in his final appearance for United – the recent pre-season win over Leeds. It constituted a further momentous milestone and a “fairy-tale ending” for a player who bleeds red.
Savage penned an emotional farewell letter to fans following confirmation of his relocation to Reading:
“Today marks the end of my time at Manchester United. For the past 15 years I have had the privilege to call Manchester United my home. I joined the club as a boy, aged 5, and am leaving, aged 20, forever grateful to every single person who has helped me to this date. From the kit and kitchen staff, coaches and every single person who has had a hand in my journey, thank you.”
United officials were adamant a “significant sell-on fee” be included in the deal with Reading, as well as a first-refusal buyback option, suggesting the club envisions Savage is not destined to remain in League One for long.
Reading fans will be hoping this view holds true as the midfielder leads them back up the ranks of the football league next season.
Good luck Charlie.