At the start of his career, Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish received the typical overhyped media reaction to a young player coming through at a Premier League club. In typically British media style, they built him up only to follow him permanently in the hope of breaking him down.
Unfortunately, the Villans star did like a party in his younger years, like any boy in his late teen or early twenties. He is only human. We all make mistakes. Luckily for most of us, they are not splashed all over the tabloids.
Grealish seems to have matured on and off the pitch
On Wednesday night, Grealish produced another good performance in Villa’s 1-12 draw against Midlands rivals Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
The display was typical of the 24-year-old’s displays in recent weeks, as he now seems to have matured both on and off the pitch. The midfielder is suddenly fulfilling that undoubted potential that many predicted he had.
This season the midfielder has already scored six times and produced six assists in a struggling Villa team. In his last four top-flight appearances, he has scored twice and picked up the same number of assists. It is fair to say he is shining in the top-flight.
England call beckons
It seems that England now has a plethora of young attacking midfielders at the disposal of head coach Gareth Southgate, with the likes of James Maddison and Mason Mount performing well for their clubs this season.
The Three Lions boss was at Wednesday nights game no doubt to watch a number of players, including Grealish. While Maddison seems to have maintained his form consistently this season, Mount’s form has dipped slightly of late. If it was a choice between Mount and Grealish at the moment for an England squad, then it would have to be the Villa star.
However, it could be argued that they are very different players and play in different roles. Mount has played much of the season as a number ten, while Grealish has switched between an almost left-wing role and a central midfield spot.
It doesn’t have to be a choice between the pair. However, it seems comparisons have been made because they have both relatively young and play similar roles, if not exactly the same. Whether Grealish is in Southgate’s squad for March’s friendly against Italy at the expense of Mount or not, he should be in the squad.
Villa need him in fight for survival
There have been rumours linking the midfielder with a big-money move to Manchester United. However, with Villa in a relegation battle, it seems highly unlikely that he will be going anywhere in the January transfer window.
Villa needs his creativity and guile to help them move away from the Premier League danger zone. The Villans are currently just two points clear of the drop zone and are evens to suffer a quick return to the Championship. The long-term injuries to Tom Heaton and Wesley have obviously not helped their cause either.
However, if Grealish can maintain some sort consistency for the rest of the season, then he could play a big part in the Villans fight for survival. His performances and more importantly tangible output have shown that he has the ability to thrive in the Premier League.
It is always good to see a young-ish English player flourish and long may it continue, as on his day Jack Grealish is a joy to watch.
Will Jack Grealish be in the next England squad?
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