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West Brom's John Swift quick to work out an understanding with Grady Diangana

New recruit John Swift believes there have already been signs in pre-season that he and Grady Diangana naturally complement each other.

STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - JULY 09: John Swift of West Bromwich Albion at The Lamex Stadium on July 9, 2022 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - JULY 09: John Swift of West Bromwich Albion at The Lamex Stadium on July 9, 2022 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Diangana was outstanding for the Baggies during the 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign.

But he has struggled for form ever since despite widely being regarded as one of the most talented players in the Championship.

Speaking last month, chief executive Ron Gourlay said he believed the addition of Swift would help to get Diangana firing again – with the club having not had a playmaker in the same mould since the departure of Matheus Pereira.

And in their two pre-season games so far – against Leyton Orient and Stevenage – Swift believes there have been signs that he and Diangana can form an effective partnership.

“I look to link up with all of the front players and Grady is obviously a great player,” the 27-year-old said.

“I like to drift over to the left, he likes to come inside quite often so hopefully we can link up quite well.

“I think having players like Alex Mowatt and Jayson Molumby behind us helps as well, players that are good on the ball and who can dictate play.

“They allow me to step up and get on the ball in higher areas and create chances.

“Grady is is a great player on the ball, whenever he is on it everyone feels confident he is going to keep it.

“He can take his man on, he can get to the byline, he can get a good cross in. Hopefully there is more to come between us.”

Swift joined the Baggies back in May having spent the past six years at Reading.

Manager Steve Bruce wants all his new recruits to live close to the training ground – with the boss believing too many players had lengthy commutes last season.

And Swift, who is now living in Birmingham, says he has adapted quickly to life in the Midlands.

“I’ve settled well,” he continued.

“I knew a few of the players from the England set-up so it’s been quite easy to get into the swing of things.

“I knew Callum Robinson, Alex Mowatt and Jed Wallace from before. Jed was at Pompey (Portsmouth) for years and I grew up at Pompey.

“I’ve known as few of them for a long time so it’s been easy to settle in.

“I’ve played against a lot of the players as well so it’s not been a problem.

“I have never lived in the middle of a city before, I’m in an apartment with my girlfriend at the moment.

“It’s nice, I’ve got everything on my doorstep. The training ground is nice, the stadium is lovely.

“It’s been a good transition, I did it early so I got to pick a place early and get settled. And that allowed me to come in on the first day and meet everyone which helps as well.”

While Swift has enjoyed his first few months at the club, he admitted pre-season has been tough.

“A few of the lads have said it’s been the toughest pre-seasons they have done and it’s definitely been one of mine,” he added.

“When we went to Portugal, I don’t think the balls came out for the first four days. We did a lot of running.

“It’s been really rough on the legs but it’s all for a good cause and hopefully we can be one of the fittest teams.”

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