Every season, in any sport, there are rookies that get their chance to prove themselves on the field. Quite a few fall flat, but some step into the limelight and turn into budding stars because of their play. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is one of the few fresh-faced players that has shown his potential as a perennial starter in Tim Sherwood’s side.
Grealish, the 2014/15 Aston Villa Young Player of the Season, has been a lifelong supporter of the Villains and joined the club when as a six-year-old. Fast forward 13 years, the now 19-year-old Grealish has already made a name for himself as one of the most promising youngsters in the Premier League.
The Republic of Ireland youth international was a part of Villa’s U-19 team that won the 2012/13 NextGen Series tournament. The now defunct competition featured top clubs such as Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus and Liverpool. Grealish has also been awarded the FAI International Player of the Year twice (2012 and 2015). The annual award is given to the top Irish international player of that particular year, and is given out in different age brackets.
While Grealish has featured in multiple Republic of Ireland youth levels, he has yet to declare himself ready to represent the country. He was born in England and a senior switch to the Three Lions may be in the cards in the near future.
With several accolades already to his name, Grealish is starting to gain attention from the big clubs around England. It has recently been reported that Manchester City are one particular team to hold interest in the midfielder. It is thought that the Citizens have been monitoring Grealish for a few weeks now and may look to the summer transfer window to bring in the starlet. Manchester City are also said to be looking to add more English players to their squad to comply with homegrown rules, so a bid for the youngster would make sense.
Nevertheless, before silly season starts this summer, Aston Villa have a massive match against Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Although the Gunners are favorites to retain the cup, the Villains have the players to potentially pull off an upset. Star striker Christian Benteke is widely known and surely the Gunners will do their best to contain the big Belgian. However, it is Grealish that may cause Arsenal’s back line fits during the match.
Grealish has a fantastic understanding of the game at the age of 19. He is very composed and patient with the ball, and makes solid decisions with his distribution as well. The winger has also played an instrumental part of Villa’s FA Cup run. Grealish has provided key assists during the club’s last two cup matches, including setting up Benteke for the match-winning goal against Liverpool in the semi-finals.
If Grealish performs well during the final on Saturday, his stock could not only skyrocket, but he would help bring the historic FA Cup to Aston Villa for the first time since 1957.
Mute the TV and listen to Rabble for a different experience
For today’s FA Cup Final, World Soccer Talk founder Christopher Harris will be hosting an audio broadcast online where you can listen and participate.
If you’ve grown tired of FOX Sports or you want to listen to a real fan’s broadcast on Rabble instead of the announcers on TV, mute your TV and listen to Chris (aka The Gaffer) on Rabble.tv (either on the web or the Rabble iOS app).
Plus you can interact with Chris by posting comments and asking any soccer-related questions you have on your mind.
Join him at Rabble.tv beginning at 12:15pm ET today.
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