Sheffield United’s ideal long-term Mark Duffy replacement is Reading’s John Swift

Sheffield United attacking midfielder Mark Duffy turned 33 years of age earlier this month, and the club should be targeting Reading’s John Swift as his long-term replacement.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Duffy has quickly established himself as one of the Yorkshire outfit’s key players during the course of the past couple of seasons having moved to Bramall Lane on a free transfer in 2016.

Even though he spent much of his earlier career on the wing the Liverpool-born attacker is currently shining in more of a No.10 role behind the two strikers, and he has two goals and three assists in 13 Championship appearances this term.

His advancing years could mean that Chris Wilder’s search for a Duffy successor will have to be upped next summer.

Why should they target Swift?

He joined Reading on a permanent deal in 2016 following an impressive loan spell with Brentford, and he showed his qualities in his first season at the Madejski Stadium with seven goals in 27 league appearances.

However, he endured a more difficult 2017/18 campaign as the Royals struggled near the foot of the table, and while he only made 10 Championship outings he did still score twice, and also played an instrumental role in getting his side back into the game as a substitute when the Berkshire outfit lost 2-1 at Bramall Lane last October – something that should have caught Wilder’s eye.

With Reading just one point above the relegation zone they look to be in real danger again, and if Sheffield United can offer a reasonable fee for the 23-year-old they should feel confident of prising him away – especially if their impressive promotion bid continues.