Grealish is unlikely to leave Villa Park even with interest from Spurs
Captain. Leader. Potential legend? When Jack Grealish last graced the Premier League in 2016, the riot act was being read out to the talented Englishman. The then 20-year-old was being pictured on nights out hours after a game, his attitude was being called into question in training, and was beginning to develop a reputation as being a bad boy. But just a couple of seasons later the penny finally seems to have dropped with the maverick midfielder. Grealish has taken up the Villa armband, and will lead the side to Premier League football once more after a triumphant Championship play-off final. And whilst Champions League finalists Tottenham might sniff around, signing the Villa man will be one improbable task.
Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, it is easy to see why Mauricio Pochettino’s side have continued to keep an eye on Grealish’s development since his breakthrough campaign in 2015, when he was named Villa’s Young Player of the Season. As an attacking midfielder, the now 23-year-old has one of those rare traits amongst English footballers to glide past people effortlessly and carry the ball forward with ease. In not earning a senior international cap for the Three Lions, Grealish’s cause for recognition has certainly been hurt by playing in the Championship for the past three seasons.
But with promotion to the Premier League secured once more thanks to a play-off final victory over Derby last Monday, Grealish’s need to move to a bigger club has considerably diminished. Even with their £53m bid for Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso seemingly signalling their intent to splash the cash this summer, Spurs are unlikely set the world alight with their spending. It was reported last year that a £25m move for Grealish to join Pochettino’s side was mooted, but with that falling through and Villa back in the riches of the top-flight, Dean Smith’s side could quite conceivably demand double the figure they quoted last summer.
Indeed, having earned the captain’s armband of his boyhood club, Grealish’s tie to Villa is perhaps stronger than ever. Having seen the midfielder inspire the side to play-off glory, Smith insisted that even if the Midlands side had fallen short at the final hurdle, tempting the 23-year-old away would have been a difficult task. He said (via the Daily Mail): “I’ve got a special connection with the lad, he’s a Villa fan, he’s been through a lot of his career so far. I had no qualms giving him the captaincy and even if we hadn’t gone up, it would have been tough to prize him away from this club he loves so much.”
So when Spurs draw up their list of transfer targets this summer, it would be little surprise to see Grealish amongst the top of those collection of names. But having captained the side he has supported all his life, back to the Premier League, it may just be that Pochettino would be better off looking elsewhere for a new midfielder to add to his side.
Spurs fans, would you prioritise a move for Grealish this summer? If not, why not? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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