New Reading FC signing Lewis Gibson has said that he's been 'welcomed with open arms' by Royals fans after he signed on the dotted line earlier this week.

Gibson joined Reading on a season-long loan deal from Premier League side Everton, having spent the end of last season at League One side Fleetwood Town.

Huddersfield Town were also reportedly interested in agreeing a loan deal for the England youth international. 

Speaking on what convinced him to join the club, Gibson said that new manager Veljko Paunovic was instrumental to his decision behind making the move to the Madejski.

Gibson said: "The manager, mainly and obviously the size of the club. It's a massive club, a Premier League club. 

"I spoke to the manager a few times before I came here and met him - all of the chats were positive. I knew of him because of the Serbian national team and he knew of me because of the England national team.

"He knew that I kind of fitted his mould of player.

"I want to play as much as possible, to get as many games as I can to get experience for myself at this level. As a team, we want to push on as high as we can.

"I've seen the quality in the squad, it is a very talented team.

"[My time here so far] has been very positive. I've trained twice this week and both the sessions have been very good sessions."

Everton have made headlines for their transfer activity this summer, making several marquee signings during the window - including former World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez and former Napoli star Allan.

"You can see the start that Everton have made. The squad depth is unbelievable, when you train every day you realise the talent in the squad.

"It's been an improvement every year since I've been there.

"It's a good challenge [trying to get into the Everton team] and it's one that I'll be happy to take on."

With fans not expected to be allowed to return to stadiums for the forseeable future as a result of a spike in coronavirus cases, Gibson touched upon the warm welcome he has received from supporters on social media.

"I've appreciated it. I appreciate the fans and how they've reacted to the signing, they have all been very welcoming. They've welcomed me with open arms.

"It's my first time down South, miles away from home - so I appreciate the welcome!"