ROYALS are hoping to turn around their fortunes in the Championship after picking up Southampton winger Josh Sims on a season-long loan.

The 21-year-old comes to the Madejski with Premier League and Europa League experience and has made several appearances at international youth level.

Signing Sims will provide welcome cover to Reading's current midfield roster, with Mo Barrow, Yakou Meite and Garath McCleary all currently sidelined.

Boss Paul Clement said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to bring Josh here on a season-long loan.

"He first came to my attention playing in the Premier League when I was manager at Swansea, and as soon as he came off the bench for Southampton I immediately noticed his athleticism and energy.

“He is a talented young player that can play on either side, he is a hard worker with a lot of ability and potential, and I’m delighted that he’s joining us at Reading.”

Sims arrives having represented the Saints U23s twice already this season, in wins against Middlesbrough and Dinamo Zagreb.

He is expected to be available for selection for Wednesday evening’s match at Blackburn Rovers and will wear the number 19 shirt.

Reading currently sit one off the bottom of the CHampionship table, after suffering three straight league defeats to Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Bolton Wanderers.

Ron Gourlay, chief executive, said: “Even at a young age, Josh has shown that he is a winner and very capable of providing a positive impact on matches at the highest level.

"We are confident that he can add some cutting-edge to our play and to play an important role in what will be a fruitful season for Reading.”

Drafted in for a surprise start for the Saints against Everton in November 2016, he had an assist within a minute of kick-off on his debut, as he set up Charlie Austin for what would be a match-winning goal.

The youngster would go on to make a total of 13 appearances for the Saints’ senior team in his maiden season.

Brian Tevreden, technical director, added: “Josh is a bright, talented young player who is keen to make an impact – as he has already demonstrated during his time with Southampton.

"His qualities will be a welcome addition to Paul’s squad and extend our range of options in the attacking third of pitch.”