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West Brom potentially on high alert as Kevin Phillips identifies alternative Leeds United target to John Swift



Former West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips believes fellow ex-Baggie Okay Yokuslu would be a better signing for Leeds United than Reading’s John Swift during the January window, speaking to Football Insider.

Turkey international Yokuslu spent the second half of last term on loan at The Hawthorns from Celta Vigo, impressing during his time in the West Midlands but failing to secure a move back there as he saw Albion relegated back to the second tier.

In an interview with Goal in the summer, when he was linked with a move to Elland Road, the 27-year-old expressed his desire to remain in the Premier League, though it has been recently reported that he’s open to a move back to the Baggies.

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More recently, it’s been Reading midfielder Swift that has been more heavily rumoured to be in with a shout of heading to West Yorkshire, with Football Insider reporting that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are lining up a move for the 26-year-old ahead of next month.

As per the same outlet, the ex-Chelsea man has rejected fresh terms at the Select Car Leasing Stadium with his contract in Berkshire expiring at the end of the season, looking set to leave the second-tier side either in the summer or before.

Recording eight goals and nine assists in 21 league appearances for the Royals this term, Swift is on fire at the moment, but former forward Phillips believes Yokuslu would be the better option for the Whites to pursue.

The 48-year-old said: “An experienced foreign player could be an option for Leeds, someone who has been around a bit.

“Yokuslu would be a great option I think. He has experience in Europe as well as in the Premier League. I don’t think it would phase him, going to Leeds.

“He was brilliant for that short spell in the Premier League with West Brom.

“Personally, I think that would be a better option than Swift. It would make a lot more sense to me.”

The Verdict:

Which midfielder to pursue depends on what type of player they want.

With Yokuslu, what you see is what you get. He will be a dominating figure in the middle of the park, help to break up play and will put tackles in left, right and centre, proving to be a real asset for playmakers and more advanced midfielders to get up the pitch. That would be a great help to Leeds in turning the ball over quickly.

But if the Whites want a more advanced option in the centre and someone who isn’t afraid to get forward, then Swift has to be the preferred option at this stage, with his quality from free-kicks also proving to be a valuable weapon.

The 26-year-old does like to take the ball from deep and has played in a defensive midfield role before, but in the top tier, he would be at risk of being overwhelmed if he played in this position at Elland Road.

Both options should be cheap enough to pursue next month, but Swift is available for free in the summer so Leeds may play the waiting game to see what happens with him in January.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: West Brom potentially on high alert as Kevin Phillips identifies alternative Leeds United target to John Swift

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