And just like that, John Swift is gone. Gone for good this time. Not a loan. Not a temporary move. A three-year contract. Stability. First-team chances. At least in theory.
Don't let the Carabao fool you. That's not a Chelsea training shirt.
Personally, I had been hoping that Chelsea and Swifty could work out their differences. Chelsea had tendered an offer, but his choice makes sense. It probably makes the most sense for him, for his career, for his future. A Chelsea career that started in 2007 in the U13s now ends at age 21, after one official appearance for the first-team. It is what it is.
Even though he was essentially a free agent, since Swift is under 24, a transfer fee, set by a tribunal, will have to be paid by Reading at some point.
"John is a very talented player. I've seen him play and I think he could be very important in the way we want to play."
"He can play as a winger on either side, or as an attacking midfielder. His physique is good, he is good on the ball, he has the pace to get past players, and he has the capability of putting his teammates in front of goal with chances to score. He is going to be a big asset for the club."
-Jaap Stam; Reading manager; source: Reading FC
Swift had a successful loan spell at Championship side Brentford. I have no doubt in my mind he will be just as successful at Reading.
Best of luck, Swifty! Perhaps our paths will cross at some point again.