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Southampton Hold Advantage Over Newcastle United For This Midfielder: What Should Be Bruce’s Play?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, HampshireLive has revealed that Southampton hold an advantage over Newcastle United in the race to land Swansea midfielder Matt Grimes this summer. It is understood that the Saints have a trump card in Michael Obafemi who has been linked with the Swans in the past, so the Magpies would find it difficult to challenge for Grimes’ services in this off-season (via HampshireLive).

Grimes’ Terrific Form In English Football Last Season

Grimes experienced a productive season at the Liberty Stadium as he put in some solid displays as a key member of Swansea’s midfield. The 25-year-old banged in five goals and secured four assists in 51 matches for the Welsh outfit in the previous campaign in multiple competitions.

The English sensation was a valuable contributor in both halves after he averaged 2.0 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.3 clearances, 1.0 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in the EFL Championship this season. He also distributed the ball relatively well based on his pass completion rate of 77.8% in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

Grimes has taken some great strides towards improving himself over the past year, so he will be a shrewd signing for any of his potential suitors, including Newcastle United. However, it remains to be seen whether he can maintain his high standards in Premier League football if either the Saints or the Magpies can manage to sign him this summer.

Southampton hold advantage over Newcastle for Grimes who is seen in the photo
Swansea City v Barnsley EFL Sky Bet Championship 22/05/2021. Play-Off Second Leg GOAL 1-0 Swansea City midfielder Matt Grimes 8 shoots and scores a goal during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Barnsley at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales on 22 May 2021. Swansea Liberty Stadium West Glamorgan Wales Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xGruffyddxThomasx PSI-12797-0013

What Should Be Steve Bruce’s Play With Regards To A Potential Move For Grimes?

Grimes is a decent passer of the ball and can be a tireless worker at the centre of the park. He is proficient at disrupting the opposition’s flow in the game by making some crunching tackles to stop them in their stride in midfield.

Plus, the Exeter-born talent added a few goals and assists to his game recently which should keep him in high spirits heading into the new campaign. However, at 25, he has only made four Premier League appearances thus far which makes him a risky option for the Tyneside giants during this summer transfer window.

Grimes’ current contract at the Liberty Stadium runs out at the end of next season, so the Magpies should consider engineering a cut-price move to bring him to St. James’ Park this summer. However, Steve Bruce does not have the financial resources to outbid Southampton in the chase for the Swansea City playmaker’s signature, so the Newcastle box will be better off turning his attention to some of his other targets rather than go all out for Grimes, who is yet to prove his worth at the highest level.

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