Aston Villa must surely consider going back in for Reading midfielder John Swift, after rivals Sheffield United appeared to drop out of the race to sign him.
The former England U21 international was the subject of intense speculation over the course of the summer transfer window, with reports even going so far as to claim that Villa were ready to make a bid for him.
That however failed to materialise before the end of the deadline, but Villa could be tempted to go back in for Swift given what Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder had to say about possible incomings for the Blades.
He said: “There are conversations. There won’t be permanent transfers. There will be loans. There’s been discussions through agents who represent players and through clubs as well. It’s a fluid situation, as you can imagine. I’d like to use both loans and I’ll be putting my recommendations to the board.”
With John McGinn woefully out of form this season for Villa – he’s managed no goals or assists in the Premier League since mid October – Smith must surely be looking at Swift as someone who could add a bit of dynamism and spark to the centre of midfield.
The Reading ace hasn’t featured much for the Royals this season due to injury, but he does have a track record of being someone who can offer a goal-scoring threat, managing 45 goal contributions in 152 games for the club.
And after he put an impressive performance against Leeds United last season in the Championship, Marcelo Bielsa made it quickly just how much he likes him, saying: “Swift is a great player. I rate him a lot. He is a player who appears suddenly in attack and the same in transition. Especially when he passes from the defence to the attack.”
The £4.5m-rated man could give Villa an extra edge in the middle of the park.