As reported by Birmingham Live, Micah Richards has claimed that Jack Grealish should move to a “better side” if he is to flourish in the Premier League. The former Man City defender told BBC Radio 5 live, “Grealish has only just got into the Premier League now, and he’s potentially in a struggling side. Put Grealish in a better side, watch how much he would flourish.”
Grealish’s rapid rise at Aston Villa
A product of the Aston Villa youth academy, Grealish initially made his Premier League breakthrough during the 2014/15 campaign, making 17 appearances. But, it wasn’t until the 2016/17 season, that the midfielder really became a first-team regular at the club, soon after their relegation to the Championship.
Even though Villa failed to win promotion in the corresponding season, Grealish enjoyed a productive campaign, scoring five goals and assisting five as well. It was followed by a couple of more productive years in the second division.
Last season, in particular, the 24-year-old was involved in 12 goals. His contributions in the creative department helped Aston Villa gain promotion to the Premier League. And the midfielder has started this campaign on a pretty decent note, notably putting in an impressive display in the recent defeat to Arsenal.
Can Grealish succeed at Aston Villa this season?
Aston Villa were one of the busiest teams during the summer transfer window, spending almost €150 million. But, they haven’t really shown much promise and lack the players that could make a difference, aside from John McGinn and Grealish.
Wesley has struggled to integrate to life in the Premier League, though it’s still early in the season. The Villans also lack quality in defence, with no reliable right-back while manager Dean Smith has been persistent on playing Neil Taylor ahead of Matt Targett on the opposite flank.
But it could be a blessing in disguise for Grealish. As we have witnessed in the past, talented players often tend to shine at clubs that lack quality as it is the very thing that highlights their skills. Not to mention, Grealish is more likely to receive regular first-team opportunities at Villa than any top six or top eight Premier League clubs.
Last season, we saw James Maddison and Harry Maguire shine at Leicester City while David Brooks also made a mark at Bournemouth. Grealish too can follow the same path, though Villa needs to have a more tactically astute setup and a more disciplined defence.