Jack Grealish tells Sky Sports he is “not too sure at the moment” what the future holds for him at Aston Villa after Sunday’s final game of the season
Last Updated: 22/07/20 10:21am
Jack Grealish admitted he does not know whether Tuesday’s win over Arsenal may have been his last game at Villa Park.
The Aston Villa captain is heavily linked with a move away this summer, with Manchester United top of the list of potential admirers.
Grealish, who put in a man-of-the-match display on Tuesday as Villa climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win, insists Premier League survival is his only focus for the time being.
Asked if he had played his final game at Villa Park, Grealish said: “I’m not too sure at the moment.
“I have one aim and that is to keep this club in the Premier League, where this whole fanbase know we belong.
“That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment and hopefully we can do that on Sunday.”
For Grealish, keeping his boyhood club in the top flight would “mean everything” and the 24-year-old has promised to leave it all on the pitch at West Ham on the final day.
“Since we’ve been back I probably haven’t been as effective as I was before,” Grealish said.
“I don’t really mind pressure – pressure is a privilege, my old coach used to always say that to me. I just need to do what I know I can do.”
Sky Sports’ Gerard Brand:
“He’s easy on the eye, he’s silky on the eye, but I’m yet to be convinced by him,” said Graeme Souness after Villa’s 2-0 defeat by Liverpool earlier this month.
At the time, Villa fans too will have been underwhelmed by their talisman’s performances since the restart – Grealish had been tepid, lacked bite and was dropping deeper and deeper in games in an attempt to be Villa’s hero. But in Villa’s last three games, when it really mattered, the forward may have convinced Souness otherwise.
In their biggest win of the season on Tuesday night against Arsenal, the 24-year-old dragged his boyhood club through 90 minutes of torture to a vital three points.
Yes, he is silky. Yes, he is easy on the eye, and yes, he does go down when prompted. But Grealish is routinely Villa’s top runner, is ice cold in the final third and tight areas, and is happy to throw himself into the physical battle rather than slalom around defenders. It is steel, not fragility, and he has showed all of this and more in recent games.
It culminated in his man-of-the-match performance on Tuesday, his eighth of the season. Only Kevin De Bruyne, Adama Traore and Sadio Mane have more.
His future is anyone’s guess, but whoever gets Grealish next season, if indeed he does leave Villa, they will be getting a player full of grit, not just technique.
Speaking after Aston Villa’s 2-0 defeat by Liverpool earlier this month, Greame Souness told Sky Sports he had been taken in by Grealish’s ‘silky skills’ but was generally unsure of the Aston Villa captain’s ability to play at the highest level.
He said: “He has got quality but do the top teams carry passengers when they don’t have the ball? No – they don’t have players that stand with their hands on their hips when they lose the ball. Everyone rolls their sleeves up to be the first, second or third one to press. That is something that is not in his game right now.
“As an old midfield player, would I have liked to play against him? I would have loved to have played against him.
“He allows me to get close to him, get physical with him. I don’t want to play Paul Scholes, Xavi or Andres Iniesta. They are too quick – they pop it off in one or two touches. I want to play against people like him – he would allow me to mess him around.”
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5. A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
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