Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that 22-year-old midfield playmaker John Swift has added his signature to a new five-year contract with the Royals.
Swift joined our pre-season training preparations later than his teammates after a long season was extended even further by an impressive European Championships campaign with England’s Under-21 side this summer – but the club have acted quickly to offer a new long-term contract to the midfielder, who put pen to paper at Madejski Stadium earlier today.
Manager Jaap Stam said, “Everybody knows the quality Swifty has. He showed us all last season what a great player he is and the difference he can make in games. And, as a club, you want to keep these influential players within your squad. So I’m very happy that he’s signed this new deal at Reading.”
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “A midfielder of John’s calibre and undoubted potential, promising the next five years of his career to what we are striving to achieve at Reading, is a clear demonstration of both commitment to the cause from an exciting, creative midfielder and long-term ambition from the club and its owners. I am delighted to have secured the services of such a talented young footballer until 2022!”
An FA Youth Cup and U21 Premier League title-winner at Chelsea – a club he joined ten years ago and with whom he earned his professional debut as an 18-year-old replacement for Eden Hazard against Cardiff City in May 2014 – Swift has made quite an impression in RG2 already.
His Reading career got off to the best possible start when he scored the only goal to earn Stam’s side an opening day win over Preston North End at Madejski Stadium last August.
The former Chelsea youngster went on to score a total of nine goals in 36(+6) appearances for the Royals in his first season spent away from Stamford Bridge following a permanent move to RG2 last summer.
Those nine finishes included a thunderbolt at Barnsley, the winner at St Andrew’s as well as home goals against Brighton, Cardiff City, Brentford and Rotherham!
An injury suffered whilst qualifying for a major tournament with England’s Under-21s forced him to miss a month and a half in Reading’s surge towards a third-placed finish – but Swift bounced back to star for club and country, earning the EFL Young Player of the Month gong in February and going on to help the Royals reach the Play-Off Final before flying out to Poland as part of Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s squad earlier this summer.
He started in a 2-1 win over Slovakia and played the full ninety minutes in a group qualification-clinching victory against the hosts. Swift then came off the bench in the semi-final against Germany that cruelly ended in penalty shootout defeat.
But Swift returned to link up with his fellow Royals during a ten day training camp in Holland earlier this month and got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in our last pre-season game of the summer on Saturday, so our midfield maestro is rejuvenated and ready for another crack at conquering the Championship.
John follows in the footsteps of fellow first team colleagues Chris Gunter and Liam Kelly in signing a new long-term contract at the club during a summer which has also seen Jaap Stam, Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati commit to new deals at the club.
Director of Football Brian Tevreden said, “Last season, John proved himself to be the exceptional young player we all believed he was back when he first signed as a Royal last summer. And this contract shows how much faith the manager and everyone at the club has in his ability. I am sure he can play an integral part in the long-term future of Reading Football Club.”