Matthew Jacob "Matt" Grimes (born 15 July 1995) is an English professional footballer who plays for Leeds United on loan from Swansea City. He is an England U21 international. He began his career at Exeter City, where he made his professional debut in League Two in August 2013. In January 2015, he was signed by Premier League club Swansea for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £1.75 million. Grimes has also represented England at under-20 level.
Born in Exeter, Devon, Grimes came through his hometown club Exeter City's academy and was given a professional contract by the club in April 2013. He made his League Two debut on 17 August 2013 in a 2–0 victory over AFC Wimbledon at St James Park. In February 2014, Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale described Grimes as the best young player he had seen in his 8 years at the club praising his technical ability and reading of the game. On 18 April, away at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium, he scored his first professional goal for relegation-threatened Exeter, a deflected free kick in the 18th minute to open a 1–1 draw against the highly-ranked opponents. Grimes won Exeter's player of the season award at the end of the 2013–14 season and that summer committed his immediate future to the club despite reported interest from various Premier League sides.
Despite leaving the division halfway through the season when he signed for Swansea, Grimes was chosen in League Two's PFA Team of the Year for the 2014–15 season.
On 2 January 2015, Grimes signed for Premier League side Swansea City with Exeter City receiving an undisclosed club record fee, believed to be in the region of £1.75 million. He completed 90 minutes for the Swansea under-21 side in a 2–1 win against Queens Park Rangers on 27 January. On 1 February, Grimes was called up a Swansea matchday squad for the first time, remaining an unused substitute as they won 1–0 away to Southampton. His debut for the team came on 4 April, as a 90th-minute substitute for Jonjo Shelvey in a 3–1 win over Hull City at the Liberty Stadium. He scored his first goal for the club against York City in a 3–0 home win in the League Cup second round on 25 August 2015.
Blackburn Rovers loan spell
On 13 February 2016, Grimes joined Championship club Blackburn Rovers on a loan deal lasting until the end of the season, making 12 appearances.
Leeds United loan spell
On 6 July, Grimes returned to the Championship, joining Leeds United on a season-long loan, signed by his former Swansea manager Garry Monk and assistant Pep Clotet. On 5 August, Grimes was given the squad number 16 shirt for the 2016–17 season. On 7 August, Grimes made his Leeds debut against Q.P.R. in a 3-0 defeat.
On 28 August 2014, Grimes received his first call-up to the England national under-20 team for the friendly match against Romania. In March 2015, Grimes came off the bench to captain the Under 20s in a win against Mexico. He also scored a penalty in the eventual shoot-out following a 1–1 draw. 4 days later, he started as captain at Home Park in 2–1 win over the United States, wearing the number 7 shirt.
As a 15-year-old he was part of St Peter's AirBadgers Ultimate Frisbee team that won the Junior National Championships for the third year in a row in 2011. He was voted the most valuable player as AirBadgers beat Brighton in the final 13–1.
- As of match played 30 April 2016.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Exeter City||2013–14||League Two||35||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||37||1|
|Swansea City||2014–15||Premier League||3||0||0||0||0||0||—||3||0|
|Blackburn Rovers (loan)||2015–16||Championship||12||0||0||0||0||0||—||12||0|
- Exeter City Player of the Season: 2013–14
- Football League Two PFA Team of the Year: 2014–15