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Aston Villa: Bent backs Alli as potential Grealish replacement

Marcus Bent has named the player who he thinks Aston Villa should sign as a potential replacement for Jack Grealish… 

What’s the talk?

Former Premier League player Marcus Bent has suggested that Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli could be the ideal replacement for Jack Grealish at Aston Villa. Bent thinks that Manchester City will sign the Villa captain and has named Alli as his potential successor.

He told This is Futbol:

“I think Grealish is going to go to Manchester City.

“Dele Alli is his own worst enemy. When I was at Leicester City, Paul Dickov would fight himself in the locker room. Alli has to uncover those demons and do what he has to do because his footballing  and ability are needed.

“Two years ago, he was a starter for the England national side. I think there has been stuff off the pitch which has contributed to him not playing at the top level.

“Everyone needs a second or third chance and he is a good player. He might have matured now and it’s time for him to flourish. I think he needs that confidence boost and to show himself that he still has the ability to play at this level.”

Would Alli be a good replacement?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Smith would love him

Grealish has been heavily linked with a switch to The Etihad this summer and TalkSport claimed at the end of last month that he will complete a British record £100m transfer to Pep Guardiola’s side upon the conclusion of the European Championships. If true, that would leave a gigantic hole for Dean Smith to fill ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.

The 25-year-old provided six goals and 10 assists in 24 league starts last term for the Villans, averaging a phenomenal WhoScored rating of 7.56. This highlights how important he is to the club and why NSWE must bring in a top-class replacement to fill the void if they do sell him.

Alli could be the man they need and Smith would love working with the former MK Dons star at Villa Park next season. Although he endured a rough 2020/21 campaign, failing to score in the Premier League, he has shown his quality in the past and Smith could enjoy getting the best out of him and recapturing the 25-year-old’s form as he could turn into a crucial player.

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Former England international Darren Anderton once compared Alli to England greats Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes, labelling him as a “freak of a talent” and a joy to watch. 

He told GOAL:

“I’ve got to say that I loved Stevie G as a player and Scholesy but Dele Alli, for his age, is just a freak of a talent. I love his arrogance on the pitch, how clever he is in finding the positions that he does and his willingness to try everything. He is a real joy to watch.”

The £100k-per-week maestro has had three seasons of 19 direct goal contributions or more in the Premier League for Tottenham. In the 2019/20 campaign, Alli managed eight goals and four assists in 21 starts, with his best season being his haul of 18 goals and seven assists between 2016 and 2017 for Spurs.

This suggests that, when at his best, he could be as influential as Grealish with his goals and assists from the attacking midfield positions.

Therefore, Smith would love to have him at the club and that is why – if Grealish leaves – NSWE must pounce on a deal for Alli.

AND in other news, Villa suffer major blow in pursuit of “extraordinary” £30m gem, Smith will be gutted…

Article title: Aston Villa: Bent backs Alli as potential Grealish replacement

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