With so many highly lauded names frequenting Chelsea youth ranks, it shouldn't be much of an surprise if some names end up being slightly overlooked. One of them is John Swift, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder who joined Chelsea's London neighbors, Brentford, from the Blues U21 team in a month-long loan deal in beginning of October amidst a major injury crisis at Griffin Park.
But after solid performances for the Bees, Swift not only had his loan deal extended for two months but was also called up by Gareth Southgate to join England's U21 national team along with five other Chelsea players. And Brentford manager Lee Carsley revealed that Swift's loan only happened due to his good performances against the club in the youth level:
"We've got a good link-up with Chelsea and he was one of those players that always did well playing against us. He's got four goals in the two games, I think, so he was a player I was keen to get straight away [when I took over]."
Since Swift's arrival, Brentford have moved from 19th to 11th place in the Championship table, with Swift appearing in all seven league matches -- six of which as a starter -- and adding one goal and two assists to his tally. Brentford hope to send him back to Chelsea as a better player, according to Carsley:
"I like him as a lad first and foremost. What he brings to the team is there for everyone to see: his skill. He's got a massive appetite for the game; he wants to get better."
"He still has got a lot of development in him, and the fact Chelsea have trusted us with a player they hold in high regard is a massive pat on the back for us. We've got responsibly to Chelsea to send back a better player than what left."
-Lee Carsley; Source: Get West London
Given all our recent discussions over youth development and Chelsea's way on how to promote these talented players in the future, it's always reassuring to see youngsters who aren't as hyped as Lewis Baker and Dominic Solanke also making strides in their current loan arrangements. Hopefully the same progress shown to the fans by someone like Swift has also been held in high regard by the Blues management.