Darius Vassell believes it’s only a matter of time before Jack Grealish leaves Aston Villa.
The 24-year-old winger has long been linked with a big transfer but to date remained loyal to his boyhood club.
How important has Jack Grealish been to Aston Villa? Five key things to know…
- Jack Grealish has featured in 26 of Aston Villa’s 28 league matches this season.
- He is their leading scorer (seven goals) and creator (six assists).
- Grealish has been fouled 127 times in the Premier League – more than any other player.
- His present deal expires in June 2023 but fellow Villa academy graduate Darius Vassell believes his long-term future is elsewhere.
- Man Utd and Spurs have been strongly linked with the Villa captain.
Grealish was tipped to join Tottenham Hotspur after Villa’s most recent relegation from the Premier League and has recently seen his name mentioned in the same breath as Manchester United.
His present contract at Villa Park expires in June 2023, but with the local lad harbouring grand ambitions, particularly winning a first England cap and cementing his place in Gareth Southgate’s team, it remains to be seen whether or not he will fulfil that current deal.
Before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic the Birmingham-based club were staring at another relegation from England’s top division with them sitting inside the bottom three, two points adrift from safety.
It’s unclear whether Grealish, who captains Dean Smith’s side, will be a Villan next season but someone who feels his long-term future will not be at the club is fellow academy graduate Vassell.
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“I always get asked about Jack Grealish’s situation. I want him to stay through supporting Villa – he’s one of our own,” he told Stadium Astro.
“But he’s so good now, where could he end up if he went to a better team with better players? Is it right to hold him back?
“If you look at history, you’ve got Gareth Barry and James Milner who left for City. Top-quality players who went on to bigger and better things.
“So I think it’s a matter of time. He’s so good, how can other teams not be tempted to come in and steal him?
“I don’t like saying it but he’s got to go at some point. Unless Villa get new owners and are buying the best players, go and get the most for your career.
“I don’t think Villa fans would blame him – he’s played his heart out and done brilliantly. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be surprised.”