Matt Grimes: Midfielder targets Premier League return for Swansea City

Matt Grimes joined Swansea City from Exeter City in 2015
Matt Grimes joined Swansea City from Exeter City in 2015

Skipper Matt Grimes believes he can help Swansea City get back into the Premier League.

Grimes, 26, has just signed a new three and a half year contract which commits him to the club until 2025.

The midfielder, who was a target for Championship rivals Fulham in the summer, said his desire to be part of the Swans’ journey was the sole reason he chose to remain.

“The decision was made because I want to stay here,” said Grimes.

“It was not a case of signing for another year or two so the club could get more money for me. That was not the case at all.

“I went to the manager and said ‘I want to be part of this project’.

“To be honest with you, it would have absolutely broken my heart if I had ended up at another Championship team and had to play against this style of football and been battered the way we have battered teams.

“I had to be a part of it, I went straight in and said ‘I want to sign a new deal here’.

“It was never a case of getting a few extra quid by selling me, that is not part of the plan at all.

“I want to be here to take this club back to the Premier League.”

The ex-England under-21 international has made more than 175 appearances for Swansea and has had loan spells at Blackburn, Leeds and Northampton.

Grimes had looked as if he would be leaving on deadline day as Fulham made an approach, but their Championship rivals did not reach Swansea’s valuation.

Grimes said: “There was a conversation in the morning and it looked like it was going to go ahead and then kind of really quickly turned.

“It was not really down to the wire, conversations were going on through the day. It just never happened.

“i am very happy here and I think a lot happier here than I would have been there, to be honest.”

And Grimes admits the influence of manager Russell Martin, who joined from MK Dons on the eve of the new campaign, was huge in his decision to remain at the Stadium.

“Working with him for three months he has made me want to sign a new deal, I think that tells you all you need to know.

“Everyone can see the football we’ve been playing.

“We had a shaky start to the season, he had three days training with us before the start of the season which was incredible.

“But every week that we get a chance to work he is implementing his ideas, he is telling us the way he wants to play.

“The intensity at which he works is second to none and I think he makes the whole dressing room better.

“I think every player can look at themselves in the mirror and feel ‘I am a lot better player under this manager.’

“He is fantastic to work with and I do believe he is taking this club places.”

Grimes firmly believes that means the Swans eventually returning to the Premier League after dropping out of the top flight in 2018.

“I am not saying we’re going to get promoted this year, I am not saying we are going to get promoted next year, I am not saying it is definitely going to happen. But the clear goal is that.

“Myself and the manager are very ambitious people, as are the staff and we want that to funnel through the club, starting with the top working its way down to all the players.

“That (Premier League) has to be the goal. There is no point surviving and just being a mid-table team and going from one year to the other. That is not what we are about, it is not what we want.

“That’s what we are building towards. If everyone can see that then hopefully it is exciting times ahead for Swansea.”

BBC News