A defeat to Birmingham City on the road jeopardised Leeds’ hope of clinching an automatic Premier League promotion place once more. The shallowness of the squad is troubling Marcelo Bielsa in injecting consistency in their game, and the necessity of new additions has been highlighted time and again.
According to Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider, the Whites have started identifying their transfer targets irrespective of season’s outcome and are plotting a swoop for Reading sensation John Swift who has silenced his critics with some headstrong display in the recent weeks.
Although the Royals are struggling to escape a relegation scare, the ex-Chelsea prospect has regained his form after a rough run. Swift had a stupendous 2016-17 campaign as he was instrumental in his side’s journey through to the playoff final despite suffering a heartbreak against Huddersfield Town in the tie-breaker. Injuries and off-form halted his growth ever since, but the 23-year-old is still lauded as one of the brightest prospects in the second tier of English football.
Swift, a former England youth international, progressed through to the esteemed academy ranks of Chelsea before joining the Royals on a permanent deal. There he made an instant impact and impressed with his swift skills, creativity, dribbling traits, shooting, passing as well as work ethics.
The Whites, meanwhile, have been lined up in a 4-1-4-1 pattern this term by the veteran Argentine. But the egress of Samuel Saiz has resulted in a lack of creative spark in the middle of the park and the gaffer has now been forced to deploy young Tyler Roberts in a makeshift midfield role even though the Welshman is more effective while operating from the wide or featuring as a ‘number 9’.
The signing of Swift would indeed benefit Leeds due to his artistry and inventiveness while orchestrating the game from a central role. His attributes are suited for Bielsa’s free-flowing football which needs flexibility and adjustability depending upon the situation.
The player, however, should work on a few things to upgrade his display. His fitness is a concern whereas a loss of concentration in crucial moments has led to a lack of consistency at times. He has often been seen shining in early minutes but fading away of late – something that would be an obstacle en route to making his mark in West Yorkshire if a deal materialises in due course.