Newcastle United are reportedly keeping close tabs on Aston Villa midfielder, Jack Grealish as the Championship outfit prepares for a massive operational change ahead of the 2018/19 season. Steve Bruce has been forced to reduce the club’s player wages from £33m to £15m and that would mean offloading a few of his most saleable assets.
Grealish trumps that list by a fair margin after his impressive bouts this past season at Villa Park. The 22-year-old was expected to receive a significant pay rise from his £20,000-a-week paycheque if the Claret and Blues earned promotion back to the Premier League.
That has not been the case, unfortunately, after Fulham’s 1-0 win over Steve Bruce’s side last month in the Championship playoff finals. Villa are expected to lose out on £170m worth of advertisement revenue and this has forced the side to refinance for the immediate future.
Grealish could fetch them a decent amount after facing rising interest in the youngster from multiple Premier League outfits. He is a product of the Aston Villa youth academy, having joined the side when he was just 6. He made his first-team debut in January 2015 against Blackpool in the FA Cup 3rd round game.
Grealish scored his first goal against Leicester City in the 3-2 loss in September 2015 and now has 9 for the senior team. He has made over 100 appearances for the Birmingham-based outfit, 34 of those registered this season alone.
The Englishman was suffering through kidney issues earlier in the 2017/18 campaign but came back early November to help his team into the playoffs. He has also been capped 7 times for the England U21 team and is improving by massive strides with each passing game.
He spent a season out on loan to Notts County for further development in the 2013/14 season and racked up 34 senior team games under his belt. Standing at 5 feet 9 inches tall, Grealish has the technical and athletic prowess to beat defenders on the run.
He is a creative spark and takes on the number ten role with a lot of vigour and enthusiasm. The 22-year-old could be the start of change at the St James’ Park if Mike Ashley allows his manager to operate with any financial backing of sorts.
Newcastle could benefit to a massive degree by adding a youngster of Grealish’ pedigree into their current squad. But it is unlikely that Rafael Benitez will get the £30m from Ashley that Aston Villa is asking for.