A report was released by the Express and Star yesterday revealing that West Bromwich Albion have joined the race for Reading star John Swift.

The attacking midfielder, who joined the club in 2016 at the end of his contract with Chelsea, has played nearly 200 games for the Royals but is set to walk away from Berkshire on a free as his contract is expiring at the end of the current season.

Almost keeping the Paul Ince’s side up single-handily, netting 11 goals and contributing 13 assists, meaning the maestro has been directly involved in over 40 per cent of the club’s goals this campaign.

However, the Baggies will face stiff competition from Premier League sides Leeds United, Brentford and Norwich City who have all rumoured to be interested in the summer free agent.

We have looked at the clubs supposedly tracking the former England Under-21 playmaker to see where he would be most needed.



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West Bromwich Albion

Stumbling along in mid-table in the Championship is not where the Baggies expected to be with three games remaining of the season. With Steve Bruce brought in to mount a late play-off charge, there has been little to smile about at the Hawthorns, besides the luscious locks of former Royal Andy Carroll up-front.

According to Transfermarkt, West Brom have no official number 10, despite playing with three in central midfield for most matches.

Former Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt is the most potent midfielder in front of goal for the side with four goals and two assists, a long way short of Swift’s tally and in just four matches less.

Averaging 1.4 key passes per match, the Leeds academy graduate is statistically the most creative player in the squad, almost half of Swift’s 2.7.

West Brom are crying out for a player such as Swift, who would also top the sides dribbling and assists charts based off of his stats this season.

Of the four sides most heavily linked, they are one of two who are destined to be in the second-tier next season, albeit at the top end.

With the star having already spent six years in the Championship, the midfielder might fancy his chance at Premier League next season instead.



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Norwich City

Rock-bottom of the Premier League, Dean Smith’s Canaries are, barring a miracle, set to be playing Championship football again next season.

Favouring a 4231 formation under the former Aston Villa boss, the number 10 role behind the striker is the perfect role for Swift and has proved it is his best role in the second division.

According to Transfermarkt, the East-Anglian side only have one specified attacking midfielder, Kieran Dowell, who has contributed one goal and one assist in the league so far.

A whole host of other stars have played in the three behind Teemu Pukki, none of which have got more than four goal contributions.

A large pinch of salt must be taken, with this being a level higher than Swift has ever played before and these players are, according to the league table, the worst squad in the division.

Proved when they were last relegated from the top-flight, Norwich have a very strong side for Championship level and the statistics do not directly compare with Swift’s.

If the midfielder fancied joining a top-end Championship club, and one who will very likely be competing for the title come next May, Norwich will be his best bet.

Still just 26-years-old, there is plenty of time for the hot-property to try his luck in the Premier League, but will he be patient?


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Leeds United

An interesting link and one which has been very long standing. Much-loved Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa was said to be a big fan of Swift, and with Sporting Director Victor Orta behind most of the signings, it would appear that the Spanish recruitment lynchpin is still keen.

Another who likes three in midfield behind a lone striker, Jesse Marsch’s side are almost guaranteed Premier League football for next season, what must be a real plus point for Swift.

16th in the table, Leeds have scored more than eighth-placed Wolves and tenth-placed Brighton, so chance creation is not necessarily the weak-point for the Elland Road outfit.

However, according to Whoscored, one of the sides weaknesses is “taking scoring chances”, with their top scorer notching 10. With 11 from midfield, Swift could assist with this.

If he is serious about giving the top level a crack, he could do worse than take a punt with Leeds United.


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A former Bee loanee, Swift scored seven for the West London side in 2015/16. Then just 20-years-old, he has now matured into one of the deadliest players in the Championship.

Coping incredibly well in their debut Premier League season, sat 12th with five games remaining, attention has now turned to the crucial question ‘how to avoid second season syndrome.’

Renowned for their scouting network, no doubt the club will have a long list of hidden gems waiting to be found by the well-respected top-flight newbies.

One key component behind the recruitment will be whether Denmark international Christian Eriksen signs a new deal with his current one running out at the end of the campaign.

Currently holding the much-coveted attacking midfield role behind Ivan Toney, the former Spurs star has contributed a goal and two assists his six appearances for the club.

Still only 30, rumours are already circulating that Eddie Howe is interested in taking the former Ajax playmaker to the North-East next season.

If he were to leave, that would leave the side short of a creative midfielder, a role which Swift would love to have.


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Ultimately, any of the four sides would be a good move for Swift, with all of them almost guaranteeing a pay rise and an opportunity to showcase his talents at a level in which he would be scrutinised much more than he is in Berkshire.

But after almost 200 appearances and 70 goal contributions across six seasons, nobody begrudges him the chance to try his luck elsewhere.