Dan Cook has been speaking on the HLTCO podcast about transfer links to Reading’s John Swift.
The Eagles are certainly not alone in their reported pursuit of Swift, with the likes of Burnley, Wolves and Newcastle United linked with a move for the midfielder, who is set to be out of contract next summer, which could see someone bag a bargain in January or several clubs scrapping it out for his signature at the end of the season.
Is Conor Gallagher Crystal Palace's signing of the summer?
It’s no surprise that Swift is being linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs, as he’s been taking the Championship by storm for two of the past three campaigns, and after being sidelined with an injury for a large chunk of last season, he looks back to his 2019/20 best in this campaign.
But despite Swift tearing up England’s second tier, Cook is not convinced he’s the man Palace need.
“He is someone that has been on a real tear in the early stages of the Championship season.
“He has played, I believe, 11 games and has seven goals and five assists to his name already – and that’s in a Reading side that aren’t necessarily expected to trouble the play-off places, let alone the automatic promotion spots.
“I’m led to believe that his contract is actually up with the Royals at the end of this season, which obviously would provoke something of a scramble to secure his signature.
“He’s a technically gifted player, someone that can obviously score and create at will in the second tier, but I look at our squad and the makeup of it, the strength in depth that we’ve got in particular positions, and I’m just not 100% sold on the fact that we would be looking for another central midfielder/number 10 type.
“Will Hughes, of course, has arrived; Luka Milivojevic, Jairo Riedewald, Conor Gallagher, James McArthur, Ebere Eze, Michael Olise, Wilfried Zaha – we’ve got a pretty stacked midfield as it is.”
TIF Thoughts on Swift…
By the time next season comes around, Swift will be 27 years old, so he’s no young player that can afford to spend a season on the bench and learning from other players, he needs to be integrated in immediately.
Therefore, Palace looking to sign him when they already have James McArthur and potentially moving for Conor Gallagher permanently next summer wouldn’t make sense, especially with recent signing Will Hughes still yet to appear in the league.
Being able to come back into Reading’s side seamlessly and start performing like he was two seasons ago is a testament to Swift’s mentality as much as it is to his talent. Swift could face setbacks if he moved to the Premier League having played just one game at that level, but being able to overcome such a serious injury as he did last season will stand him in a good place if and when potential suitors come knocking.