Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Journalist Reckons Aston Villa Ace’s Future Could Hinge On This: Can Smith Manage To Retain Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In the latest instalment of Sky SportsThe Sunday Supplement, the Daily Telegraph’s Matt Law reckons Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish’s future could hinge on their Premier League safety when he said, “Villa’s Premier League safety will be key to the Grealish situation.

“If they go down, I think everybody expects them to have to sell him, and not at the money they’d want to.

“But if they stay up, they have incredibly wealthy owners and if they go down, they’d only have to sell Grealish from an FFP standpoint. Their owners are the fourth or fifth wealthiest in the Premier League. There’s no financial pressure on them to sell him, and if they do stay up, do Manchester United have the stomach to spend £80m on Grealish?”

The Daily Mirror had claimed earlier this month that Manchester United made the English midfielder their number one target for the summer transfer window which will be a cause for concern for anyone associated with the Villans.

Grealish’s Sensational Form For The Villans This Season

Grealish has experienced another outstanding season at Villa Park after producing a run of game-saving performances as the centre-piece of Dean Smith’s attack. He has made 31 appearances for the Villans this term, banging in nine goals and registering eight assists on all fronts which showcases his excellent consistency going forward.

The Villa skipper has averaged 2.1 shots, 2.7 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per 90 minutes in the English first division this season (stats via whoscored). His excellent contributions have given the West Midlands outfit some hope in their battle for survival.

The Birmingham-born playmaker has had a positive influence while playing for the England Under-21 set-up, having featured in seven matches for them while scoring two goals in the process. If Grealish can maintain his outstanding form next season, then he will be a nailed-on starter for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions team in next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Aston Villa playmaker Grealish's future could hinge on PL safety (Grealish is holding Dean Smith's hand in the picture)
Aston Villa’s English head coach Dean Smith (R) consoles Aston Villa’s English midfielder Jack Grealish on the pitch after the English League Cup final football match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London on March 1, 2020. – Manchester City won the game 2-1. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The England Under-21 International’s Greatest Strengths?

Grealish can use his quickness and football intelligence to make a few lung-bursting runs with the ball in and around the opposition penalty box. He can glide past his marker with minimal effort through his determination and tireless work ethic to do well on the field. The English midfield ace can pull off some unselfish runs which often opens up spaces for his teammates to exploit in the opposition half. He is always willing to get on the ball and can create some decent openings for his side in the final third.

Grealish has the attributes required to be one of the Premier League’s greats as long as he can improve himself with each season. He will undoubtedly play a crucial role for the Villans when the English top-flight resumes later this month.

Can The Villans Retain Grealish’s Services This Summer?

With some inviting fixtures coming up against the likes of Sheffield United, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the coming weeks, Dean Smith will fancy his team’s chances of getting some favourable results with Grealish carrying most of their goal-scoring and creative workload in the attacking third.

If Villa can somehow manage to avoid relegation at the end of this campaign, then they might have a shot at persuading their club captain to stay at Villa Park beyond this summer. Matt Law makes a good point when he states that the West Midlands giants will not need to sell Grealish if they can retain their top-flight lives this season as Smith will have the higher ground and could choose to price Manchester United out of a move for the English midfield ace.

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