This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk‘ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Championship outfit Reading would have been relegated without John Swift and with that, deserves to win the club’s player of the season award according to the view of FLW’s Reading fan pundit Johnny Hunt.
The midfielder has been an integral part of the Royals’ fight against the drop this term, starting the season in an impeccable fashion and although he has struggled to maintain his consistency at times, he has stilled popped up with vital moments in recent months.
He played a considerable part in Josh Laurent’s two vital goals against Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley either side of the last international break, two strikes that earned the Berkshire outfit four points and has proved to be vital in steering them to safety.
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Overall this season, he has recorded 11 goals and 13 assists in 38 league appearances, though he looks set to walk away for free in the summer with his contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium expiring this year.
There has certainly been no shortage of interest in his signature with West Bromwich Albion recently joining Premier League clubs in the race for his services – and it’s looking increasingly likely that he will depart Berkshire in the coming months.
That hasn’t affected FLW’s fan pundit Hunt’s opinion of his performances this term though, also picking out Andy Yiadom as another potential candidate for his best player of the 2021/22 campaign.
He said: “It’s been a tough season. I think for me, personally, it comes down to two players.
“Obviously, John Swift for his goals and assists – and Andy Yiadom who has worked hard and is a positive influence on the team.
“But I would say John Swift (for player of the season). Without him, we would be down.”
Swift and Yiadom are the two standout players, without a doubt.
Swift deserves his mention because of his goalscoring contributions this term, also being integral to the way the Royals play, supplying that extra bit of quality in the final third and that has helped to unlock defences.
Considering his side have the worst defensive record in the division, his goals have been crucial to the cause and this is why he would deserve the player of the season gong if he was to pick up this award.
He has also been a valuable asset from set pieces, scoring penalties and also becoming a real free-kick specialist at times this season, an extra weapon that the second-tier side have been able to utilise.
However, Yiadom is also a contender because of his consistency, contributing well both defensively and going forward and with his contract also expiring in the summer, he would be a big miss if he was to depart the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
He isn’t likely to be short of interest in the summer considering the performances he has put in, with the club’s defensive record nowhere near a fair representation of his contribution to the cause during 2021/22.