Swansea City paid £1.5 million to sign a 19-year-old midfielder by the name of Matt Grimes from Exeter City in January 2015, per the BBC. Two-and-a-half years on, however, and the four-time England Under-21 international is yet to truly repay the faith shown in him at the Liberty Stadium.
However, a disappointing loan spell at Leeds United, and a reunion with former Swansea boss Garry Monk, last season did little to boost Grimes’ chances of breaking into The Swans’ first-team any time soon.
Grimes struggled badly at Elland Road, starting only one league game and playing just 153 minutes of Championship football throughout the season. A technically gifted midfielder blessed with intelligent passing ability, Leeds’ strength in depth in central midfield meant he was not given much of a chance to prove his worth.
However, the now-22-year-old is showing signs of getting a once promising career back on track during another loan spell – this time at Northampton Town in the third tier.
Found his level?
Grimes made his third league appearance for The Cobblers in their 1-0 win against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and, although Rangers loanee Matt Crooks grabbed the headlines with the only goal inside 21 seconds, it was the Swansea youngster who ran the show.
A real class act in the centre of the park, Grimes looked a cut above in League One – though the cynics may argue that he has simply found his level for now.
After all, an impressive performance against a Doncaster side who were in the fourth tier last season does not exactly suggest that Leeds missed a trick not giving Grimes more of an opportunity at the top end of the Championship.