Each week, we’ll analyse the performance of a player or manager during the 2019/20 season before throwing it over to you, the audience, to decide whether you would ‘stick’ with them or ‘twist’ in favour of an alternative and if so, who and why? Head to our Twitter (@Eurosport_UK) and leave your comments as we consider what the future may hold for Jack Grealish at club and international level.
Being a young, up and coming talent in the world of football is not always plain sailing. Grealish was another of these promising young stars looking to make a name for himself in the game. Sadly, there were times where he would attract the wrong attention that took away from his footballing potential. There are distractions for players of that age, but it is their responsibility to ensure they are known for the right reasons.
Falling into the trap of getting a reputation based on off-the-field antics can sometimes be too easy. It was clear that Grealish had the makings of a very good player, but it was almost as if he needed some form of guidance. A role model or a mentor to point him in the right direction, someone who had been that young player trying to establish themselves in the first team. This writer believes that the influence of both Dean Smith and John Terry coming into the fold at Villa Park has made a huge impact on Grealish who is living the dream of captaining his boyhood club and proving that he is capable of taking his career to another level.
On his return from injury in March of last year, Smith handed Grealish the armband for their league fixture against Derby County. Undoubtedly, this was a game-changer for Grealish. He would go on to lead his club to the play-off final and subsequent promotion to the Premier League. He has come on leaps and bounds and with his focus firmly on the football, his ability has shone through.
Smith is a hugely experienced ex-player and manager while Terry was that young player looking to forge a path into the first team at Chelsea all those years ago. Together, they will have helped Grealish to understand that talent is only half the battle and that having the right mentality is the key to unlocking your full potential. The 24-year-old has seven goals and six assists in 26 Premier League appearances this season and has been linked with a move away from Villa Park. The club are fighting relegation, but could they soon find themselves locked in a battle to keep their captain?
- Man Utd agree terms with Jack Grealish - Paper Round
- Aston Villa boss preparing to return with incomplete squad
Southgate: Grealish ‘very close’ to England squad
Grealish has become the subject of transfer speculation with Manchester United one of the clubs who are in-demand of his services. If reports are to be believed, it’s not the first time that United have shown an interest with some suggesting that an attempt to sign Grealish broke down back in 2012.
Grealish would be a good addition to United's setup. From an attacking sense, he possesses creativity and spark with the ability to influence games with moments of brilliance. Meanwhile, a low centre of gravity allows him to glide past players with pace and good control. He has willing, spirit and character – not afraid to get stuck in and engage with the physical side of the game. These traits mean Grealish covers the bases from both an attacking and defensive sense and could be a fine addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack. The competition such as Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes would be good company for Grealish and his development.
Having impressed for his club, Grealish might be wondering whether he could be due a call from Gareth Southgate before long. His name has surely come across the England boss’ desk with his commitment to promoting young talent proving effective during his time in charge. With the European Championships postponed for another year, this will give players such as Grealish the chance to stake their claim for a place in the squad for the tournament.
Tammy Abraham, who spent last season at Villa alongside Grealish, was rewarded with an international call-up after impressing upon his return to Chelsea. There is a chemistry there that could prove effective and might be an option for Southgate to consider moving forward. In the meantime, Grealish will be fully focused on helping secure Villa’s Premier League status with their season due to restart against Sheffield United on June 17th. His performances will be closely monitored by potential suitors looking to clinch his signature.
Have Your Say
Now it’s time for you to get involved! Head to our Twitter page and give us your thoughts on the ultimate question. Would you ‘stick’ with Jack Grealish or would you ‘twist’ in favour of an alternative and if so, who would you choose and why?