The transfer sees Kelly working under Jaap Stam for the second time. The two were both at Reading between 2016 and 2018, when the Royals were in the hunt for promotion to the EPL. Kelly signed his first professional contact aged 17, renewing the deal several times as he improved fast.
In August 2016 he made his debut in the League Cup against MK Dons, making his bow in the league not long after. Kelly, who is able to fulfil various roles in midfield, racked up 94 appearances for Reading, scoring nine times and claiming the same number of assists.
Kelly is the first Irish international to play for Feyenoord for 18 years. David Connolly was the most recent Irishman to pull on the Feyenoord shirt, between 1997 and 2001. Kelly made his debut for the Ireland youth team in 2013 and has made eight appearances at youth level. He was recently called up to the full Irish squad.
‘The arrival of Liam Kelly gives us more options in midfield,’ said interim technical director Sjaak Troost. ‘And it’s also nice that we have been able to finalise the transfer at the beginning of this week, which means he can quickly join the group for the training camp in Austria.’
‘Liam is a technically refined player with a lot of potential,’ added Jaap Stam. “Someone who fits in well with the way we want to play. I know him well, of course. I had a good working relationship with him and know what he’s capable of. Here at Feyenoord he’ll obviously be one of the young ones in the group. He will be able to show himself off and prove himself along with all other players over the coming time.’
- Feyenoord 1