EASTLEIGH have signed Reading goalkeeper Luke Southwood on a one-month loan, with a view to keeping him for the rest of the season.

The 21 year-old made his debut in today’s 2-2 draw at Havant & Waterlooville.

He replaces Max Stryjek, who made 12 first-team appearances in three months before returning to Sunderland last week.

“The rules mean we couldn’t extend his loan before January even if we wanted to, but Max doesn’t want to stay,” explained manager Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens.

“It’s nothing to do with the club, he’s been struggling with homesickness for the last month.

“Max has been brilliant for us and he has a great future in the game, but he’s not been himself these last few weeks. His girlfriend’s up north and he’s been given permission by Sunderland to go home and see his family in Poland over Christmas.

“I’m not even sure Sunderland would have let him come back to us anyway. He’ll go back and push to be their number two ‘keeper.”

Southwood was part of last year’s U20 World Cup-winning England side in South Korea in 2017 and collected a club record 18 clean sheets and a player-of-the-month award during a season-long loan with Bath City in National South last term.