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…
Reading midfielder John Swift is attracting attention from Brentford, Leeds United, and Newcastle United, according to the Sheffield Star.
Swift has bagged eight goals and six assists in 14 appearances this term but his contract is set to expire next summer, which may mean the Royals have a decision to make in the January window.
So, should they look to cash in? Or would it be best to keep hold of him?
We asked our FLW writers for their verdicts…
Reading would be making a grave error if they decide to cash in on John Swift in the January transfer window.
When you consider just how impressive the midfielder has been this season, it is hardly a surprise that he is being linked with a move to the Premier League.
Currently averaging a club-high WhoScored match rating of 7.49 in the Championship, Swift will be looking to help the Royals achieve a relative amount of success in this division.
Although the upcoming window represents the final opportunity that Reading will get to secure a sizeable fee for the midfielder due to the fact that his contract is set to expire next summer, they will not be able to draft in a suitable replacement for Swift as they are currently under a transfer embargo.
It depends on the offer.
John Swift is a vital player for the Royals and you could almost argue they have been too reliant on him to come up with the goods so far this season with his 14 goal contributions, but his contract comes to an end next summer and it would be extremely painful to lose him for nothing.
There’s no doubting he has talent, but his consistency is one thing that could be questioned and one thing, other than this contract situation, which would currently reduce his valuation.
On his current form, he’s probably worth around £20m because he’s a real game-changer – but the fact he only has six months left on his deal means the Royals would probably only get about £5m for his services.
A Premier League club may decide to launch a bid of around that figure to try and secure him – but many other suitors will be waiting until the summer when they can recruit him for free.
His departure would be a painful one for Reading though, especially with a potential points deduction on the horizon and their need to stay in the Championship, so they may decide to retain him even if he doesn’t sign fresh terms at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Swift is a genuine class act and is deserving of a move to the Premier League.
It’d be a big blow if the Royals were to lose the attacking midfielder in January but put simply, the Berkshire outfit are in need of extra funds amid the club’s battle with FFP and the EFL over the club’s spending.
It’s a tough one as Swift’s contract expires next summer at the Select Car Leasing Stadium so the Royals won’t want to lose one of their most prized assets on a free transfer, considering his valuation right now is probably the highest it will ever be given his stellar start to the Championship season.
If an offer upwards of £10m arrived for the player from a Premier League side, I think Reading will have to accept it despite how pivotal he is to the club on the pitch.
Reading do possess a number of options in attacking midfield areas who could fill the void to an extent if he did depart, but it would be a real blow to lose someone of his quality.
If Reading weren’t in such financial difficulty, the club should be doing all they can to retain his services, but unfortunately they are and sales are going to be inevitable in the new year.