It was well documented that last season Spurs wanted to sign Jack Grealish in a deal worth up to £25m. Then managed by Steve Bruce and with ongoing off the field issues Aston Villa rejected advances for the local boy.
At the time Grealish is said to have been disappointed with the club’s decision to deny him his chance at Premier League football. As we all know though it is a strange game and just nine months down the line, it is now reported that the Birmingham born 23-year-old will reject advances from Spurs this summer and remain at the club. Why might that be?
This season has proved to be a fine one for both clubs you could say. Admittingly, Spurs still haven’t at the time of writing this secured their first trophy under manager Mauricio Pochettino, but the weekend will provide Spurs fans the opportunity of a lifetime. They will travel out to Madrid in their numbers to see their side bid to win their first ever Champions League trophy. A monumental occasion to say the least, reflected in the fact that the club has announced a sold-out stadium of 62,000 seats to watch the game via a screening. Amazing. A superb achievement even if they go on to miss out against Liverpool.
Looking at Aston Villa and they are a side that were close to administration not too long ago before an investment which could be said saved the club. Now, they are officially a Premier League once again after beating Frank Lampard’s Derby County on Monday at Wembley. It is suggested that Dean Smith a lifelong Villa fan himself will be given the tools with the aim of comfortably remaining in the league after next season.
In terms of Jack Grealish himself though, it most definitely benefits him to stay at Villa Park and continue his growth as a player. Had the play-offs gone against Smith’s side the club would surely have been resigned to losing their man with his England chances hinging on football in the topflight.
In March, England manager Gareth Southgate gave an honest assessment of Grealish’s England chances, referring to the fact that it was difficult to assess his ability while playing at a different level. He said, via the Telegraph: “Jack worked with us in the Under-21’s briefly. The difficulty is always, although we can see the quality. When the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that’s where it’s hard to directly correlate what that is going to look like a level above. With Callum [Hudson-Odoi], he’s playing Europa League, he’s playing Premier League, that does make a difference.”
The importance of Villa’s play-off triumph is clearly highlighted in that statement with the playmakers international hopes hanging in the balance. However, it has been confirmed now that he will be plying his trade next campaign as a Premier League player. Amid interest from Spurs, the best decision would surely be for Grealish to remain at his boyhood club. That being for numerous reasons. At Aston Villa he has the opportunity to be something more than the squad player he would almost certainly be moving to the Champions League finalists. The quality is most definitely there for all to see but to move to a side already established in the division and Europe expecting to be starting week in week out, would be naïve. Regardless of what the thoughts are on his talent, the adaption to the difference in requirements at a club like Spurs would take time and could potentially go wrong. At Villa, he is already established as the club captain at just 23 and also is highly thought of by the fans because of his story. Not to mention the fact he would be representing his boyhood club at the highest level. The stuff of dreams really.
(Image via NewStatesmanAmerica)