Howe adds to defensive options with Mills capture

Last updated : 17 July 2012 By Tony Scholes
Eddie Howe has clinched the signing of Joseph Mills

The signing means another move for Swindon born Mills less than a year after he signed for the Royals from Southampton in August last year.

Like his older brother, Bolton's Matt Mills, who himself captained Reading in the 2011 play off final defeat to Swansea, he started his career as a junior with Southampton, progressing through the teams, and representing England at under-17 and under 18 level.

He made his first team debut for Southampton in a Carling Cup tie against Birmingham in August 2008, coming on as a substitute for Simon Gillett. A month later he got his first start as the Saints, in a season that saw them relegated to League One, drew 0-0 at home to Barnsley.

For the second half of that season he joined Scunthorpe on loan and made 14 League One appearances. He was back at Southampton for the following season and was in and out of the side, starting just eleven games, but he spent most of the 2010/11 season at Doncaster on loan.

Back at Southampton at the start of last season, he saw them sign Danny Fox from us to compete with Dan Harding for the left back position.

At the time he moved to Reading, manager Brian McDermott said they'd tried to sign him as a 12-year-old for their academy. He added: "He's a left back who can play in midfield as well, a versatile player who can pass the ball.

"He's had a tough time down at Southampton over the last year or so, but he's been out on loan and done well out on loan, so we're looking forward to having him here."

Last season saw him play 15 league games for Reading in their promotion season, including their 1-0 win at the Turf back in October, the first and only time he's played against us. However, he hadn't played a first team game since mid-February, having to watch Reading's promotion from the sidelines.

Now back in the Premier League, they have re-signed Nicky Shorey who will challenge Ian Harte for the left back spot, again leaving Mills down the pecking order.

He's now joined the Clarets, becoming Howe's fourth signing of the summer, and will be up against Danny Lafferty, who arrived in January, for the left back position.