Jack Grealish’s future at Aston Villa became a mainstay in the headlines of British media outlets throughout the summer transfer window, and he has continued to provoke interest in the media this week after putting pen to paper over a new deal.
After suffering from a freak kidney injury at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, Grealish returned to Villa’s first-team in fantastic form in November 2017 and his performances during Villa’s bid for promotion attracted plenty of interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
The talented number ten showcased his playmaking ability on a consistent basis as Steve Bruce’s side climbed into the play-off places, but he failed to earn a Premier League move despite his marked improvement.
But Daniel Levy’s reluctance to fork out for a single new signing saw Grealish remain at Villa Park following weeks of intense speculation.
And Villa took another step towards deterring interest from outside the club earlier this week as he agreed to a new 5-year contract which contains an “extremely high” release clause, according to The Sun.
In response to the reports, The Sun reporter Paul Jiggins delivered a ludicrous verdict on Grealish by claiming he has ‘kissed goodbye to his chances of becoming a top-four Premier League star’.
Whilst signing a new contract is likely to deter interest in the short-term, his decision will actually enhance his long-term chances of securing a move to a top-four club; by signing a new deal he will be able to focus on his career with Villa and allow himself adequate time to develop before embarking on a risky move to a top-flight club.
Grealish has just turned 23-years-old and he still has plenty to prove before he can genuinely justify a move to Tottenham Hotspur – or another club with aspirations of challenging for the top-four.
Although the statistics cannot fully illuminate the creative quality which Grealish injects into Villa’s play in the final-third, he needs to improve on his return of just 9 goals and 16 assists from 120 appearances before taking a significant step up in class.
Jiggins’ claim that Grealish was ‘putting an improved contract before his career’ is completely unjustified as there’s no doubt he needs to prove himself in the Championship as moving to the top-flight too soon would naturally have a detrimental impact on his development.
Quashing speculation over a potential transfer by committing his future to Villa was a smart decision to make and talk of a Premier League switch will remain premature until he has proven himself in the second-tier of English football.
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