A major update has emerged on Southampton’s transfer plans, and it could lead to CEO Martin Semmens striking gold this summer.
According to Swansea journalist Keith Haynes, as relayed by The Chronicle, Newcastle and the Saints are looking at Matt Grimes as a potential target for the summer transfer window. The Swans could cash in on their captain this summer and would be looking for a fee in the region of £8m if they decide to sell the 25-year-old.
Hampshire Live followed up on the claims by reporting that Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to add a midfielder and that the Saints will be looking at deals for the fees mentioned with Grimes.
Earlier this year, Grimes’ teammate Korey Smith hailed the midfielder after he made his 150th appearance for the Swans, declaring that the skipper has a “wand of a left foot” and praising him for his leadership off the pitch, having been captain for two years.
Smith told Swansea’s official website: “It’s 150 appearances for the club and he has now been captain for the last two seasons, so the majority of the time he has played in Swansea colours he has also had the armband.
“I think that sums him up, and the future is so bright for him. He is at the peak of his powers, he is an amazing player with a wand of a left foot.
“He is a brilliant person off the field too, it’s been great to get to know him. I’d played against him and always thought I would like to play with him because he was always so good.
“I’ve liked playing with him and I hope that continues for a long time.”
Southampton fans would surely love it if the club could seal a deal for Grimes this summer. Saints CEO Semmens could be striking gold with a move for Grimes as the talented midfielder could be a shrewd addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad in an area of the pitch where they are lacking.
Hasenhuttl does not have a wealth of options in central midfield and there is a gap in the squad ready for Grimes to come in and fill next season.
In terms of box-to-box midfielders, James Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong are Southampton’s only senior options, and the latter is mainly deployed as one of the wide attackers instead of in midfield. Hasenhuttl has Oriol Romeu and Ibrahima Diallo in terms of defensive midfield options, which means that there is a space for Grimes to come in and potentially play alongside Ward-Prowse in games where Southampton may not need to be overly defensive.
In 48 appearances across the regular season and play-offs, Grimes averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.97, with a score of 7.01 in 39 starts in central midfield. He produced three goals and three assists, whilst also making 3.4 tackles and interceptions per game.
This highlights his quality at both ends of the pitch and shows why he could be a shrewd signing by Southampton, who could strike gold by securing his signature. Saints fans would surely love seeing him play alongside Ward-Prowse in midfield, keeping the passes ticking along and building up play for the attackers to find space and work their magic in the final third.