Midfielder swaps Stamford Bridge for the MadejskiReading Football Club are pleased to announce the signature of 21-year-old midfielder John Swift, who has put pen to paper on a three-year-deal with a one-year extension option at Madejski Stadium.
The Portsmouth-born playmaker scored seven goals in 23(+4) league appearances on loan at Brentford last season, including a brace against Wolves and a final day of the season strike at Huddersfield Town on his final appearance for the Bees in May.
Manager Jaap Stam said, “John is a very talented player. I’ve seen him play and I think he could be very important in the way we want to play.
"He can play as a winger on either side, or as an attacking midfielder. His physique is good, he is good on the ball, he has the pace to get past players, and he has the capability of putting his teammates in front of goal with chances to score. He is going to be a big asset for the club."
An England Under-21 international, Swift came through the youth ranks at Stamford Bridge, joining the Blues’ Academy after a successful trial in 2007.
He went on to lift the FA Youth Cup in 2012, playing alongside former Royals loanees Nathaniel Chalobah, Nathan Ake and Lucas Piazon in a 4-0 first leg win that would be enough to earn him his first piece of silverware.
In 2013–14, Swift helped Chelsea’s Under-21s claim the U21 Premier League title, scoring 9 goals in 26 appearances for the Blues and he would make his professional debut as an 18-year-old, coming off the bench to replace Eden Hazard in a 2-1 win for Chelsea against Cardiff City in May 2014.
The following season he enjoyed loan spells at Rotherham and Swindon Town, helping the latter reach the League One play-off Final in 2015. He then linked up with Brentford for the 2015-16 campaign, making a big impression at Griffin Park.
Swift has represented England from Under-16 through to Under-21 level and he recently helped Gareth Southgate’s men to Toulon tournament triumph out in Avignon – playing a part in a 4-0 win over Paraguay, a 1-0 win against Japan and the 2-1 victory over France in the Final back in May.
“John is a talented midfielder with a lot of potential,” Chief Executive Nigel Howe said. “He has benefitted from a fantastic upbringing within football whilst at Chelsea and on the international scene with England and he has also experienced the competitive nature of the EFL during a variety of loan spells. We are all looking forward to seeing him represent Reading Football Club going forward.”