Departed Alf ‘to be big hit with Royals’

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NO nonsense centre-back Michael Raynes expects former Rotherham United striker Adam Le Fondre to be a big success at Reading.

The much coveted and highly-rated Le Fondre joined the Royals for an undisclosed fee just hours before the Millers thumped fellow promotion contenders Gillingham 3-0 at the weekend.

Raynes, who played alongside the forward at Stockport County and Rotherham, said the 24-year-old has earned his move and is backing him to make his mark in the capital.

Wynthenshaw-born Raynes, who became Andy Scott’s ninth summer signing, told The Star: “I’m really pleased for Alf (Le Fondre). He has improved massively since I played with him at Stockport and I think he deserves his chance at the higher level.”

Asked what elements of Le Fondre’s all-round performance have developed, Raynes said: “The main thing is his work rate. We used to call him a lazy fox in the box at Stockport. Now he makes better runs and shuts down defenders. I think he will score a lot of goals at Reading. It is a big step up for him but I can’s speak highly enough about the guy. He is probably the best finisher I have worked with in my career. I hope he gets a chance to play in the Premier League one day.”

Raynes, bought from Scunthorpe United, added: “Alf is going to be a big miss for us. It is difficult trying to replace someone like that but that’s football. This now gives a chance to someone else to take up the mantle.”