With two left-backs on loan this season, it was imperative that the club found a longer-term solution heading into next year. Josh Reid had been earmarked by the club to be part of the rebuilding process at left-back for next season, but has seen his arrival at Coventry City accelerated by the recall of Ryan Giles. The young Scottish full-back had enjoyed a meteoric rise at top-flight level across the border this season, featuring 20 times for 10th-place Ross County at the tender age of 18. Just how ready he is to play Championship football remains to be seen, but having established himself in senior football at a young age is a promising sign.
Seen as a very attack-minded option from left-back, Reid should be comfortable at both full-back and wing-back. With the team having played such a narrow formation for much of the past two seasons, that ability to stretch the play from deep is important and is what Reid should provide. There have been question marks over his decision-making in the final third and his defensive ability, but those are things that can be improved upon as a young player progresses and can also be worked on with good coaching. With only 20 senior appearances to his name, Reid is far from the finished product but he is the kind of educated punt on a young player that has proven successful for this club over the past few seasons.
As for the here and now, Mark Robins’ clear fondness for Sam McCallum means that it will only be injuries – in addition to the game against Norwich City, where McCallum will be ineligible – that are likely to allow Reid the chance to show what he is capable of. That is probably why the club were initially keen to keep Reid at Ross County, but Giles’ recall left the team short of a viable alternative to McCallum were he to be out for an extended period. That said, if Reid impresses in training and with the one or two opportunities he gets, he may well force himself into the side. Realistically, Josh Reid is a signing that will be judged on his impact next season, rather than this one.