Had the summer panned out a little differently then Matt Grimes could have been playing for Fulham now. The interest was there, the money was on the table but Russell Martin knew he wanted to hang onto the midfielder and the club backed him all the way.
And they have extended that backing now by rewarding the Swansea captain with a three year extension to his contract that will take him to the summer of 2025. There were those in the summer that believed that Swansea wanted to sell but the moment Russell Martin came in it became clear that the Swans boss wanted his captain to stay and on deadline day he got that wish when there was no agreement for him to go to Fulham.
Fast forward a couple of months Grimes has played every minute of our championship season to date and is a pivotal part of a midfield that is enjoying the new style of play that Martin has bought to Swansea.
The Swans boss clearly wants to build his team around his captain and that is something that is working brilliantly and will be a clear reason how we were able to not just hold onto our star man but tie him into a long term contract which could take him up to 10 years at Swansea City.
“It’s an incredible signing for the football club. It would have cost a lot of money to replace him,” said Martin via the club’s official website.
“Most importantly we would have had to spend a lot of time with whoever was going to replace him.
“We know there had been so much interest in him, but he’s a cultural architect here. He drives so much of what we’re doing.
“He has no ego when it comes to learning, he helps team-mates on and off the pitch whether it was about the abuse some of the players have received and speaking to the PFA to get more done.
“He’s been fantastic with us – he’s open and honest when the players need something.
“I’ve quickly established a very strong relationship with him, while he’s got an existing relationship with Matt Gill as they played together at Exeter.
“I want to make it clear he could have got a lot more money elsewhere.”
It is clear that Martin wants it to be known that Grimes is here because he wants to be and not because of a shortage of offers from elsewhere together with of course a lucrative new contract which is well deserved and even if there was more money on offer elsewhere back in the summer.
“I am really happy, and I am so pleased to get it over the line,” he said.
“The way in which we are playing has been massive. From the moment the new manager came in I knew I would take to his style straight away and I am enjoying my football now, probably more so than I have any other year.
“It is such a big part of a footballer’s life to be enjoying your football and the football you play.
“I know it sounds silly, but it has been a huge factor in me staying and I couldn’t be happier. The club have appointed a fantastic manager in Russell Martin, and we are on the way to doing something really special here, I believe.
“I love the club with all my heart, my partner loves it here and my daughter was born here, so it is the perfect place for me.
“I have loved living in Swansea, my girlfriend moved in with me three or four years ago and she loves it here.”