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Nigeria’s Dele-Bashiru bids Reading farewell, returns to relegated Watford

10:22 PM IST 08/05/22
Tom Dele-Bashiru of Reading and Nigeria.
The 22-year-old revealed his delight after ending his stay with the Royals where he managed to score four goals in the concluded season

Nigeria youth star Tom Dele-Bashiru has thanked EFL Championship side Reading after ending his loan spell at the club.

The 22-year-old joined the Royals on a season-long loan from relegated Premier League side Watford, in order to get more playing time and fully restore his fitness.

“Thank you to the players, staff, and fans at Reading for immediately making me feel at home and the amazing support you have shown me,” Dele-Bashiru wrote on his Twitter handle.

“It was a difficult season filled with ups and downs but I enjoyed every minute. I wish the club the best of luck in the future.”

His statement has already been received well by Reading fans, who have wished him well.

@jamiesimmo5 wrote in response: “Good luck back at Watford see you next season,” while @manofficial123 opined: “You will be sorely missed see you soon King.”

Meanwhile, @SimonPovey95 said: “All the best Tom, and thank you...,” while @RFCLatest thanked him for his services by saying: “All the best for the future, Tom!”.

Dele-Bashiru made his professional debut on December 19, 2017, in the EFL Cup against Leicester City, replacing Phil Foden in the 91st minute and playing in extra time.

On July 24, 2019, Dele-Bashiru joined Watford on a six-year deal after his contract with Manchester City expired. He made his Watford debut and scored the opening goal in a 3-3 draw against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup third round.

On his first league start, Dele-Bashiru came off injured in the first half against Reading on October 3, 2020. It was confirmed that he would undergo surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament injury and would be out for around six months.

Dele-Bashiru's last Championship appearance was on May 7 for Reading against Luton Town, a game that he played 12 minutes in during a 1-0 defeat. In total, the midfielder notched four Championship goals in 2021-2022, making him the side's third-top league scorer, and providing two assists.

Dele-Bashiru was last on target in the league in the 3-2 win against Swansea City on November 27, netting in the fourth minute. He opened his account for the campaign against Peterborough United on September 14, scoring twice during a 3-1 victory.

Though he represented the England U16 team, Dele-Bashiru is also eligible for Nigeria. He was part of the Nigeria U20 team in the 2019 Fifa U20 World Cup in Poland. Dele-Bashiru scored Nigeria’s third goal in their opening win against Qatar, with the game finishing 4-0.