Aston Villa Midfielder Urged To Join Arsenal This Summer: Why Smith Cannot Afford To Sanction His Exit?

Manchester United in talks with Aston Villa for Jack Grealish who is seen in the photo
Chris Basham of Sheffield United shakes hands with Jack Grealish of Aston Villa after the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United at Villa Park on June 17, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Paul Ellis/Pool via Getty Images)

In a recent edition of ESPN FC (transcripted by Football.London), former Liverpool player Don Hutchinson had urged Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish to join Arsenal this summer when he said, “I think it’s all about timing.

“The form of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba has probably swayed Ole to stick with those two, if Paul Pogba hangs around, so timing is probably not on Jack’s side to go somewhere like Man United.

“I think he’d be a good signing for them, obviously, Liverpool as well.

“I think Arsenal at this present time would be a very good move for him.

“Having said that, it just depends on who else Arsenal bring in.

“Because if they expect to bring in Jack Grealish for between £40-45m and expect Arsenal to get to the top four, it ain’t gonna happen.

“So, if Jack Grealish is a stepping stone in terms of they’re going to then attract better players in different positions I.e. centre-halves, then they have got a chance.

“I think for Jack it will be a pretty good move because they’re a footballing side.”

Grealish’s Magnificent Season At Villa Park

Grealish enjoyed a majestic campaign with the West Midlands outfit after putting in a string of productive performances as the primary playmaker of Dean Smith’s frontline. He banged in ten goals and grabbed eight assists in 41 matches for the Villans in the previous campaign on all fronts, which highlight just how much he has matured over the past 12 months.

The 24-year-old managed to lead his team to safety on the last day of the Premier League campaign. He has found a level of consistency with his overall contributions in the opposition half as evident from his average of 0.8 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 2.0 shots, 2.5 key passes and 2.0 dribbles per game in the Premier League last season. He has been tidy when distributing the ball in the final third after completing 84.8% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Grealish has featured for England at the Under-21 level but has not tasted senior football under Gareth Southgate so far. Maybe a summer switch to a top Premier League club like Arsenal could give him the platform to catch the attention of Southgate and secure a place in the Three Lions’ squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Aston Villa midfielder Grealish urged to join Arsenal this summer (Aston Villa captain Grealish in action in the photo)
Jack Grealish of Aston Villa looks on during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on February 16, 2020, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

What Are The English Playmaker’s Greatest Strengths?

Grealish can opt to play a wide range of passes and has the vision to pick out a killer ball in the final third. He can make some clever runs with the ball using his determination and quickness but needs better players around him if he wants to take his game to the next level. The English midfield ace is also not afraid to work hard defensively for the benefit of his teammates. What makes Grealish such a highly-rated player is his excellent leadership qualities and his ability to strike the ball with a lot of venom and precision.

Why Dean Smith Cannot Afford To Sanction Grealish’s Exit This Summer

As the Villans managed to avoid relegation from the English top-flight by the skin of their teeth last season, Dean Smith has no immediate financial need to sell his captain in this off-season. However, the English attacker will likely want a change of scenery so that he can challenge for some silverware in the coming seasons.

The West Midlands club need to figure out a way to convince Grealish to stay for at least another season so that Smith has a chance to build a strong squad capable of challenging for a top-half finish in the English top tier in the upcoming campaign. It will be quite challenging for Smith to find a suitable replacement for Grealish as he has transformed himself into an irreplaceable member of the Villa squad.

With all things considered, the Villans cannot afford to lose their skipper ahead of the new season, so it makes sense for them to try everything they can to convince him to stay beyond this summer.

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.