When you have the kind of hit rate that Crystal Palace appear to have in the English Championship, returning for more signings makes sense. The Eagles may have been a top-flight club for several years now, but they have not forgotten the importance of looking below the Premier League for talent. Many of the clubs most exciting players in recent years, from Eberechi Eze to Michael Olise, have come from the second tier. Now, it sounds like the club will return to the Championship in the summer of 2022 for signings.
One name being heavily linked with Palace for much of the last year has been John Swift. The midfield playmaker has been a key asset for Reading, with the Berkshire clubs highs and lows built on his talent. Though they look almost certain to face relegation, if not get relegated entirely, Reading have seen Swift take his game to a new level this year.
11 goals and 13 assists from midfield in the Championship is not something that you could possibly ignore. With Swift a fine age at 26, too, he could easily take his game to the next level in the years to come. Given he will be a free agent this summer, too, ignoring the chance to sign him up would be a mistake for Palace.
Swift has arguably been the best player in the second tier, when you account for the fact that Reading are having a terrible season. With more shots and target and more crosses than any other player in hoops this year, too, Swift has shown that he is the creative hub of this Reading team.
As poor as they are, they would almost certainly be in the bottom spots of the league if it were not for the efforts and contributions of Swift.
Can Swift help to add more goals to Palace in 2022-23?
Although Patrick Vieira has rightly been praised for his contributions this year, the team is still light on goals. A lack of firepower outside of a few key players has limited the teams offensive output. Adding another player who has shown they are probably too good for the Championship is a worthwhile gamble.
Add in the fact that Swift is on a free, and making a move for the player would be a no-brainer for many fans. Then, you add in the additional fact he is 26 years of age – good enough to play now, young enough to stake another step – and it is clear to see why there is so much clamour to get the Swift deal concluded, well, swiftly.
With other teams in the top flight interested, Palace will need to decide soon if they are serious about landing the big playmaker. If they get him in, though, he could be just what they need to help add a freshness and an injection to the middle of the park. With so much talent already on the books, Swift looks like a natural complement to the style employed by Vieira and his team so far.