Reading recently beat Cardiff City in a game of fine margins and moved into 10th position in the EFL Championship table. After a slow start to the season, Reading have won four of their last five matches to move up the table. Reading only took three points from their first five matches and lost four of them. But they have made a ‘Swift’ turnaround to their season as they won three consecutive matches. John Swift has been their best player so far in the season and has made the most goal contributions for the Royals.
Swift has put up some incredible numbers for Reading so far. He has made 10 goal contributions with seven goals and three assists. Despite his team making a slow start to the season, Swift has been in top form and his performances have led to the better results that Reading are producing. The attacking midfielder was restricted to just 14 appearances last year due to a persistent hamstring injury. The 26-year-old appears to be making up for lost time now, though, with a string of outstanding displays.
Playing in the number 10 role as an attacking midfielder for his team, John Swift has been heavily involved in most of the build up plays for their goals. His heat map indicates that he has covered almost all areas on the pitch to receive the ball but has preferred playing more from the left side of the pitch. It is also seen that he also spends a lot of time in his own half either dropping deep to receive the ball or to defend when the opposition team has possession of the ball.
As the heatmaps for Swift indicated, he has been everywhere on the pitch attempting to keep possession of the ball and start attacks when he finds an opening. Swift has been one of the best passers for Reading as he has provided the most number of assists for his team and also has a high average xT in the matches he has played. As seen in the above visual, Swift has attempted a great deal of passes in the final third, which have a very high xT. Most of the passes he has played into the penalty area have a high expected threat and causes the opposition defence a lot of problems.
Swift has played the second most successful through passes in the league and is only two behind Ryan Ledson. Higher the number of successful through passes, higher will be a team’s chances to create a goalscoring opportunity. Swift has done exactly that for his team, he has made most number of through passes and has created a lot of opportunities for Reading to score goals. His through pass might not always be the final ball, but gives their players a chance to create a move towards the goal. Swift always has his head up in the game and always keeps a check on the runs made by his players. He has a more attacking mindset, similar to what Bruno Fernandes has for Manchester United.
John Swift has not only been the top assist provider for his team, but is also their top scorer so far. He has scored seven goals in the EFL Championship which includes a hattrick against QPR. Swift has been the origin for most of the build ups towards goal, but has also finished some of the moves that he started. He is ever present in the penalty area when his team has the ball in wider positions in order to provide more options for his players while attempting a cross. Majority of his goals have been from inside the penalty area and his most recent goal was a stunning free kick which he curled into the right top corner.
This is Swift’s sixth season as a Reading player and he is now one of the more experienced players in the squad, a role which he seems happy to take on. He is the creative hub of the team and his performances will play an important role on where Reading finish towards the end of the season. Swift has had a poor injury record and has faced hamstring issues in the past. But he looks to be completely fit and is currently enjoying his excellent start to the season.