Birmingham boy through and through, Grealish is 24 now and although his progress may have stifled for a year or two, he is very much back on track, taking the Aston Villa squad on his back as he tried to drag them into the Premier League via the playoffs. Despite being unsuccessful, the world saw something of Jack Grealish that they hadn’t seen before. Once a naive kid, Grealish had grown into a man who could be relied on when it counted, a man who will step out and try and change a game. Now he’s got the Premier League, this man is on the move…
According to the Birmingham Mail, Manchester United and Leicester City are on the prowl and now have Jack Grealish firmly in their sights.
Jack Grealish – Background
When you’re going to wear socks as low as possible, children’s shinpads and then proceed to glide around the pitch dominating the game, you’re going to get hit. He found this out the hard way whilst on loan at the then League One Notts County. A call of protection from manager Shaun Derry didn’t help the situation, but Grealish persisted and managed to keep the seemingly down and out Magpies away from relegation, something now called by the Notts County faithful “the great escape”.
Jack’s Nottingham adventures sadly didn’t translate into game time for his boyhood club Aston Villa. Playing just sixteen games in his first full season as a Villa player, losing them all. Grealish was frustrated and the front pages of major newspapers made sure the public knew. For a spell of six months, the media were all over him, putting negative spins on his nights out. To be fair Jack didn’t help himself. A three-game suspension for his conduct and Grealish was propelled down the pecking order. Hard work and dedication and he got back to where he deserved to be.
Style of Play
Commanding performances and incredible goals, the boy from Birmingham has six goals and five assists in 19 Premier League games this season. The 5ft 9in midfielder is able to play as a number ten or a winger. More so the former. His natural dribbling ability coupled with his low centre of gravity means he just dances beyond defenders. 2.2 dribbles per game this season indicate this. Also, Grealish is still one of the most fouled players in European football, being brought down close to five times a game, but his aggression and desire to drive has improved, causing all sorts of nightmares for defenders. He is hungry for goals.
Alongside his ball control and the talent, Grealish is producing end product. The final hurdle that he struggled with during his first spell in the top flight. You don’t even have to go into the specifics to see the 24 year old is performing well.
Nevertheless, going into the specifics: the former Republic of Ireland U21 is incredibly industrious. 2.7 key passes and 2.2 shots per game are what you expect from an exciting attacking midfielder. But his defensive contributions deserve more credit. 1.3 tackles per game, despite the responsibility he has to be the creative spark of this Villa side, is a testament to how valuable of a player he is. That determination and willingness to track back as well as do the dirty work. It’s a manager’s dream. No doubt, Grealish is a hard worker. Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com
His deft touches and talismanic nature won the hearts of the Villa Park faithful and soon enough expectation was at its peak. The performances of Grealish may have everyone on their feet, but could he do it at a higher level?
Whether Jack could transfer his skill into England’s top flight remained to be seen. He had all the talent in the world, but there is always the potential at his age that he could be another ‘in between’ player, a Lewis Grabban if you will. A player who is top quality in the Championship but can’t step up to the Premier League. Grealish proved to be the opposite.
Clubs want him. Grealish can go right to the top. Whether it’s Manchester United or Leicester City, we can’t wait to see how he progresses…
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