Danny Williams is heading to Reading after being sold by Hoffenheim for an undisclosed fee. It will be the 24-year-old's first trip outside the Bundesliga after coming up with Freiburg and moving to Hoffenheim.
Williams saw his career plateau in the last year as he struggled for an awful Hoffenheim team and eventually was planted on the bench. Once a regular starter for Hoffenheim, Williams' poor play, fraught with poor positioning and sloppy passes, kept him from making a single appearance in April and May. That stint on the bench coincided with Hoffenheim's turnaround as they grabbed points in five of their last seven matches to climb from the drop zone to the relegation playoff, which they won to keep their place in the Bundesliga.
Now the hope is that a stint in the Championship with newly relegated Reading can revive WillIams' career. The midfielder was a solid Bundesliga player before having serious struggles last season and can certainly make an impact with the Royals if he finds his form again.
Danny Guthrie should take up one place in the Reading midfield, but the other place in the two-man central midfield that Nigel Adkins favored after taking over last season is open for Williams to win. Late last season, Adkins went with Jem Karacen in that spot, while Hope Akpan and Mikele Leigertwood played regularly before Adkins took over. Reading could push Guthrie into a more advanced role, but that still leaves Williams to battle Karacen, Akpan and Leigertwood for one the two holding roles.
Williams has a tough road to getting back onto the field for the United States after the emergence of Geoff Cameron in June, Jermaine Jones' fine play and the return to fitness for Stuart Holden (although he still has a ways to go). The first step in doing so is playing again for his club and playing well, which now means doing so in England for Reading.