"Grimes on the right track to follow Britts"

5th April
First team

Former Swansea City midfielder Owain Tudur Jones believes Matt Grimes is showing signs he may be able to fill the gap left by the retirement of Leon Britton.

Club great Britton - who now fulfils an ambassadorial role for the club - made over 500 appearances for the Swans over 16 years which were only broken by a short stint at Sheffield United.

He was a key figure in dictating the club's renowned passing style on the rise through the divisions to the establishment of Swansea City in the Premier League.

The much-loved midfielder hung up his boots at the end of last term and will unquestionably go down as one of the greatest players to ever don a white shirt.

Replacing him was always likely to prove a difficult task, but Grimes has seemed to revel in the responsibility after returning from a loan spell with Northampton last summer.

The 23-year-old has grown in influence throughout the season and would surely be one of the first names on Graham Potter's teamsheet on current form.

And, while he has an awfully long way to go to be able to truly follow in Britton's footsteps, Jones feels he has shown an ability to be the consistent, dependable option in the middle of the park.

"So many young players have done well (this season), but Grimes has in particular. He was on the cusp of his Swansea career never kicking on," he said.

"But he has come back and wanted that opportunity. I am sure some fans had lost faith in him, but he has come in and worked away and his performances have been so consistent. You can see he has developed into a man this season in a position that Leon Britton used to grace.

"This club have had Mr Dependable in there for many years and – after Leon retired – I am sure they wondered ‘what happens now?’ But Matt Grimes has shown he could fill those boots.

"Nobody will ever be Leon Britton. We are talking about one of the best players that will ever play for this club. It’s hard to get to that level but Grimes is certainly on the right track. If he can get anywhere near to what Britts did he will have a very successful Swansea career.

"I am sure he will come back this season ready to be a driving force."

You can read the rest of OTJ's thoughts on recent events at Swansea City in his latest column HERE.