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Africa's top five done deals this week

Football
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Blackman seals Royals switch

Reading have completed the signing of striker Nick Blackman from Sheffield United.

Nick Blackman
Nick Blackman has impressed this season with Sheffield United

Blackman, 23, had scored 11 goals in 28 games in League One this season and is delighted to be making the step up to the top-flight.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I’m very excited,” Blackman told Reading FC Player. “I met the gaffer last night, he was fantastic with me and I couldn’t have asked any more from him and [director of football] Nicky Hammond. I can’t wait to play - hopefully I can try and get involved as soon as possible.”

Royals boss Brian McDermott told Reading Player he was “very pleased” to secure the signing amid reports of interest from other clubs, including Championship side Crystal Palace.

“He had options elsewhere but he knows that we try to develop our players and get them better,” McDermott said. “He’s played a lot of games, and has so much more to come.

“He can play in three or four positions - up front, either one of the wide areas and off the striker. I believe he can play off the striker - I spoke to him about that last night. He’s another player that’s hungry, wants to learn and wants to improve. His goalscoring record is getting better, better and better every year. He takes set plays, so he’s a really good acquisition to the group.”

Chairman Sir John Madejski added: “I'd like to officially welcome Nick Blackman to the club, he has rightly caught the eye with his performances in recent times, and he will be a very important addition to our line of forwards.”

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