Aston Villa’s young playmaker Jack Grealish was the subject of interest from Tottenham this summer, but the 22-year-old should be thanking the Villa hierarchy for keeping him at the club, where another season in the Championship will be best for his development.
Aston Villa’s financial problems earlier this summer were well publicised after the club lost 1-0 to Fulham in the playoff final and failed to secure the extra revenue that comes with promotion to the Premier League. At this point, Villa boss Steve Bruce gave a frank interview to Sky Sports in which he admitted that Grealish would be sold to cover some of the £40m that was needed to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The club also faced a winding up order over unpaid tax bills until owner Dr Tony Xia was able to agree a payment schedule with HMRC. All in all, this summer was a difficult one to be a Villa fan.
However, the club were saved after Xia sold a controlling stake to billionaire businessmen Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens with just over a week of the transfer window remaining. Tottenham still came in with an offer though, with chairman Daniel Levy willing to pay £25m for the central midfielder.
However, according to Sky Sports, Sawiris intervened to reject the bid and any others from Premier League clubs with two days left of the transfer window.
So Grealish remained at Villa Park and has started this season in excellent form, proving exactly why he shouldn’t be ‘disappointed and disillusioned’ with the situation as Sky Sports reported. There is no doubt that the Birmingham-born youngster is a huge talent, but he has only recently sorted out his attitude and his boyhood club is currently the best place for him to develop that potential.
The former England U21 international only really rediscovered his best form in the last six months of last season, having been ruled out of the first half of the campaign with kidney problems. Grealish ended the 2017/18 season with 34 appearances in all competitions, in which he netted three times and provided eight assists.
Considering his relatively young age, Grealish’s 112 appearances and counting for Villa will have given him a platform with which to build his career on that is more valuable than sitting on the bench or being loaned out from a club such as Tottenham or any other in the top six.
At this moment in time, he is not at the level to be starting in Spurs’ midfield, but with another full season of Championship football under his belt there is no reason why Grealish can’t make a big-money move next summer. For now though, the bosses at Villa have done him a favour by holding on to their prized asset.