Former Arsenal forward Kevin Campbell has tipped Premier League outfit Leeds United to turn to Reading’s John Swift to bolster their midfield options during the January window, speaking about this possibility to Football Insider.
The 26-year-old has been a key asset for the Royals this term, registering eight goals and nine assists in 21 Championship games and becoming a crucial part of their attack during the 2021/22 campaign after spending much of last season out injured.
Perhaps over-reliant on his quality, the Berkshire outfit will be desperate to keep hold of him in their quest to drag themselves away from any relegation danger after being punished with a six-point deduction last month for breaking the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
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However, his contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium expires at the end of the season and with that, several Premier League sides are thought to be interested in his signature, with some understood to be willing to tie up a January move for the former Chelsea man to avoid losing him to a rival.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds are one team believed to be monitoring his current situation in Berkshire, with the Argentine known to be a big fan of the creative midfielder for some time as he saw his current side in action against the Royals in his first two seasons at Elland Road.
With the Whites’ need to address their central midfield area after missing out of Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien during the summer, pundit and ex-Gunners striker Campbell believes they may make an early move in January to secure Swift’s services.
He said to Football Insider: “I think they’ll have to go in for a John Swift or someone like that.
“January is going to be so important for Leeds. They need to recruit wisely.
“Swift is have an amazing season at Reading. I think he could be one of two or three players who come in to bolster that squad.
“I know there are good youngsters coming through but this is the Premier League. You need proven quality. The players coming in need to be ready to fight.
“It is a big month for Leeds coming up.”
Considering how cheap they could get Swift for, he’s definitely a man they should be looking towards as they look to bolster their squad and considering he would be making the step up from the second tier, he wouldn’t kick up a fuss if he had to wait on the sidelines for his opportunity.
His consistency and injury record over the years can be questioned, but it’s a gamble worth taking if they can bring him in for cheap enough, because his current performances have shown he’s ready to perform at a higher level.
How well he would adapt to the top tier remains to be seen, but his ability to play in a deeper position and more advanced gives Bielsa the versatility he needs to cover for injuries and suspensions particularly important at this time.
However, the Argentine would be best served playing him higher up, because his strength is performing in the final third and he may be overrun in midfield with his limited defensive skills.
His free-kicks are worth his wages alone though – and this set-piece weapon could be crucial for a side looking to steer clear of the relegation zone and remain in the top flight for many years to come.