Rotherham United: Evans nurtures special talent

John Swift
John Swift
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The paternal touch is already paying off for Rotherham United loan ace John Swift.

The 19-year-old arrived at New York Stadium just two weeks ago as parent club Chelsea guided him there despite stiff competition from other Championship clubs.

At the heart of their decision was Millers manager Steve Evans’ pledge to look after Swift’s precocious talent as if he was his own son, and the midfielder has wasted no time in becoming a favourite with the fans.

“This is a boy with a gift that needs nurturing,” said Evans.

“I made a promise to Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinoho that we would take good care of him here.

“I told them I would watch his development as if he was my own son and they have trusted me to do that.”

Swift, who came off the bench at Derby County and impressed on Championship opening day last Saturday, was an influential figure in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win over Fleetwood Town in his first competitive start.

He had four efforts on goal and his close control, ability to beat a man and passing vision caught the eye again.

The club want to see more from him defensively but obviously have a genuine talent on their hands for the rest of the season as he has signed a long-term loan deal.

Millers No 2 Paul Raynor said: “He’s come from a very big club, we knew what we were getting when we got him. He’s a good technical player but also needs to remember he has to defend as well.

“He’ll get better the more he learns. That’s why he’s here.

“He’ll improve the longer he goes on. He can play in a number of positions. He can play in midfield, he can play either flank, he can play as a striker.”