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Opinion: Now is the right time for Swansea to capitalise on contract talks in an attempt to keep 26-year-old at the club



After a tough start to the 2021-22 season, Swansea City are finally acclimatising to Russell Martin’s way of playing as they sit in mid-table after 14 matches.

There was a lot of upheaval for the Swans this summer, starting with the change in head coach from Steve Cooper to Martin and the playing squad was also much-changed.

Part of Cooper’s reasoning for wanting to leave the Liberty Stadium was the fact that it appeared his side, which had reached two successive play-off campaigns in the Championship, was going to be broken apart with several players in the last year of their contract.

Quiz: Do you know what club these 28 ex-Swansea City players are playing at now?

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Darren Pratley?

Andre Ayew had already departed for Qatar with his salary not sustainable for a second tier club, but on deadline day the club cashed in on both Jamal Lowe and Connor Roberts, who departed for Bournemouth and Burnley respectively.

There was still one other player who was perhaps expected to follow those two out of the door and that was club captain Matt Grimes, who had been attracting interest all summer.

Watford, Newcastle, Southampton and Brighton were Premier League teams who all got credited with interest in the 26-year-old, but by the end of the transfer window it was only Swansea’s league rivals in Fulham that had made a concrete offer for the former Exeter City man.

A final bid of £2.5 million for Grimes though was not enough to tempt the Swans to sell and since the transfer window closed he has remained a regular part of Martin’s team, with a 91.2% pass accuracy and 2.3 interceptions per game (via Wyscout), proving that not only is he a very talented distributor of the ball but also a good tackler.

Grimes plays an important role as club captain but with his contract expiring in the summer of 2022, there’s only so much negotiating that can occur.

Swansea may have lost their last match against Birmingham City, but back-to-back wins prior to that against bitter rivals Cardiff and high-flying West Bromwich Albion have proven that Martin’s side are going somewhere.

And now is probably the perfect time for the club to make a take it or leave it offer for the 26-year-old – there’s no guarantee the club will be in a promotion race this season but offering Grimes a contract that would make him the highest-paid player at the club would signal a statement of intent from the hierarchy.

He’s a vastly influential player to Martin’s system and there’s no guarantees that Premier League clubs will be back in for him in January – of course the less time he has on his contract theoretically the cheaper Grimes will be but the fact is top tier clubs may be well-stocked in the engine room.

Grimes could sort out his future for the next few years if Swansea put a bumper contract on the table whilst they are in a good run of form (discounting the defeat to Birmingham of course) – now it’s up to the club to make their move.

25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Now is the right time for Swansea to capitalise on contract talks in an attempt to keep 26-year-old at the club

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