This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa are among the sides keeping tabs on Reading midfielder John Swift, sources have exclusively informed Football League World.
It is understood that Villa, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, and Brentford are all keeping tabs on him after a strong start to the season.
But would he be a good signing for Villa? And is he ready for the Premier League?
We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…
John Swift would be an excellent signing for Aston Villa in January. Reading are in a tough financial predicament at the moment so it would not be a surprise for the Royals to be relieved to get him off the wage bill.
Swift’s ability has never been in question about whether he is Premier League ready, but he has struggled with injury in recent years which has seen him unable to make the leap to the top-flight.
There are still brilliant players in Veljko Paunovic’s squad but it feels very unlikely that the Royals will be able to build a promotion push this season.
With Conor Hourihane going on loan there is a spot available in Dean Smith’s squad and Swift would definitely take some of the goals from midfield burden off of the shoulders of John McGinn.
John Swift is a real classy operator who has been a consistent performer for The Royals over the years.
His ability when in possession is unrivalled when compared to the rest of the Reading squad, and there is even a case of making that statement in regard to the whole division.
His passing range, coupled with his composure and vision, make him a player who can single-handedly dictate possession, with all those attributes also making him someone who can operate in attacking-midfield roles and as a box-to-box operator.
Swift has an eye for goal too, scoring seven already this season, with his ability from set pieces being another key attribute.
Swift is deserving of a crack in the Premier League, but I am not entirely sure that Aston Villa are the right club.
Villa have a lot of chance-creators, and whilst Swift could certainly operate in the side, there are other clubs out there where his services would be more desired.
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This does look as though it could be a good signing for Aston Villa if they manage to pull it off.
Swift has made a significant impact for Reading in the Championship for several seasons now when fit, so he may now be ready to make the step up to the Premier League, particularly given that at 26-years-old he is approaching what ought to be the peak years of his career.
Indeed, it is also worth noting that a number of players who came up with Villa from the Championship, or signed from the division since then – such as John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash – have become important assets for the club in the Premier League.
As a result, there should be a confidence within Villa Park that they can get the best out of Swift if he joins the club, and his potential to provide a regular supply of goals from the centre of the park can only be a good thing to have, so this does feel like one worth pursuing for Dean Smith and co.