His early season form may have died down somewhat, but John Swift is still attracting admirers from bigger clubs as his Reading contract winds down.
The attacking midfielder has been a Royals player since 2016 having snagged him from Chelsea, where he came through the famed academy setup at Cobham.
Swift already had EFL experience before his switch to Berkshire with loan spells at Rotherham, Swindon and Brentford under his belt but he has come into his own at Reading, with eight league goals in his debut campaign being his best until the current season.
Quiz: Have Reading FC ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
The 26-year-old had an injury-hit 2020-21 campaign due to hamstring problems but started the current season like a new man, scoring seven goals and assisting a further five in nine Championship matches.
Swift hasn’t scored since mid-October but that hasn’t stopped the transfer interest mounting, with Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United all in for him this January according to the Sheffield Star.
He could be available for a cut-price fee due to his contract situation and former Premier League striker Kevin Campbell believes that Swift would be a fantastic fit for Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa in particular.
“I’ve watched him a few times,” Campbell told Football Insider.
“With Bielsa being a fan of his, I can see that being a great signing – they need another midfielder.
“They need some fresh blood in that squad at Leeds United. It will lift spirits all around the club.
“He’s a good player and I have no doubt that he would help them in the Premier League.”
With Leeds’ interest in Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien in the previous window being well documented, it would be no shock to see them look in the Championship once again for that position.
O’Brien could still be within Bielsa’s reach but Swift represents a different option – one that is more creative but he will also be cheaper.
There is no denying that Swift is one player in the second tier who deserves a step up into the top flight – there’s no telling as to how he will perform but we know he has an eye for goal and being coached by Bielsa could see him go up numerous levels.
We will first have to see what happens in January but there’s definitely set to be a tug of war between different clubs for Swift.