This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Fulham are edging closer to completing a deal to sign Swansea City midfielder Matt Grimes, according to a recent report from the Daily Mail.
But that campaign ended in frustration for Grimes, as Swansea were beaten by Brentford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley earlier this year.
It is claimed by the Daily Mail that Steve Cooper’s recent departure from the club is one of the main reasons behind Grimes’ departure this summer.
Grimes is set to sign for a Fulham team that will be looking to win promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, after their relegation from the top-flight last term.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Grimes’ seemingly imminent departure from the club, with an agreement with Fulham edging closer.
To lose your captain is obviously a massive blow, even more so when it immediately follows your manager’s departure!
Grimes has grown immensely over the course of the last two seasons at Swansea, morphing into a really reliable defensive midfielder, who is also able to dictate play with his passing game.
Swansea are already having to replace Andre Ayew, plus their pool of impressive loan players, so throwing Grimes into that mix just adds to the task facing whoever replaces Cooper.
It’s not making the job at Swansea an attractive one and, with the season just around the corner now, 2021/22 looks like it will be a very different journey to the last two years under Cooper.
This really is a blow for the Swans considering they have already suffered another key departure recently with Steve Cooper leaving the club.
Not only was Grimes one of their key players, but he was also their captain and this move to Fulham will leave the new appointment with yet another big decision to make with under a fortnight to go until the new season starts.
Considering these recent developments, morale at the Liberty Stadium must be at an all-time low and the new manager will have to perform a miracle if he wants to get Swansea back in the play-offs for the third season in a row.
Andre Ayew’s departure in the summer will have been a big blow – but they were getting closer and closer to the Premier League under Steve Cooper.
And just a couple of weeks ago, I would have backed the Swans to sign a couple of replacements for the Ghanaian and have another successful season despite Cooper’s previous links to Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Some people will argue the club already has Korey Smith, Jay Fulton and new signing Liam Walsh as existing options to replace him, but Grimes was much more than just a central midfielder at the Liberty Stadium and his departure is likely to be felt for many months after he goes.
Can you score full marks on this 22-question Swansea City quiz?
In what has already been a major summer of frustration for Swansea in terms of losing key players and also losing Steve Cooper, losing Matt Grimes would be right up there as the most potential significant departure.
Grimes has been a magnificent performer for Swansea in the last two campaigns and he was the beating heart of their midfield under Cooper. The midfielder helped the Swans control matches from the middle of the park and was always able to show leadership on the field when things were going against the Swans in the Championship.
Replacing those qualities on Swansea’s budget is going to be a huge and daunting task for whoever takes over from Cooper. While it would also see them needing to compete with Fulham for promotion with them being even stronger for Grimes’ potential arrival at the club.
Without Grimes in their midfield, the Swans could be set for a campaign where they have to settle for mid-table football rather than make another promotion bid.