Ask any Villa supporter who the best player is at their club and the vast majority will come back with the same answer – Jack Grealish.
The Birmingham-born midfielder has represented the club since the age of six and has been in fine form this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists for his team-mates in the Championship despite missing several months of the campaign due to injury.
Grealish’s abundance of creativity attracted the interest of Tottenham Hotspur last season and under the guidance of new boss Dean Smith he has started to demonstrate his talent on a more consistent basis.
Yet despite Villa being in contention for the play-offs this season, they may benefit significantly from letting their star player leave in the summer.
The Lions recently posted a loss of £36.1m (via Express & Star) for the previous financial year, raising concerns surrounding the owners of the club, the NSWE group.
By selling Grealish for a substantial fee in the coming transfer window, Villa could potentially avoid breaking the financial fair play rules put in place to monitor expenditure Championship sides.
Furthermore, if Smith’s side do not get promoted at the end of this season, they will no longer benefit from the parachute payments put in place by the Premier League which are designed to help teams adjust to the Championship for their first two seasons in the division.
On the pitch, Grealish’s talent and desire cannot be questioned as the joy that he gets from representing his boyhood club was illustrated on Sunday as he wildly celebrated his goal in Villa’s 1-0 Second City derby win over Birmingham City.
However, due to a myriad of injuries throughout his career at Villa Park, the 23-year-old has missed a total of 42 games in the past four seasons which has not only limited his development as a player, but has also hampered the progress of the Lions who rely a lot on his productivity.
By cashing in on Grealish, Villa could either aim to balance the books or spend the money on bringing in someone like Tammy Abraham on a permanent deal from Chelsea.
The England under-21 forward has scored a total of 21 goals in the Championship and has arguably been the Midlands-based side’s most influential attacking player this season. A swoop for a player in the calibre of Abraham would help Villa regardless of what division they find themselves in for the 2019/20 campaign and would soften the blow of losing Grealish.
What do you think Villa fans? Should you let Grealish leave in the summer? Who would you spend the money on to replace the midfielder? Let us know below.