According to reports from The Daily Mail, Middlesbrough are considering a late January swoop for Aston Villa’s talented attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, of passed-out-on-a-pavement-in-Tenerife fame.
Leicester are looking to prise Gaston Ramirez away from the Riverside Stadium and a departure looks likely after the Uruguayan midfielder handed in a transfer request, provided Leicester up their previous offer to £15million.
Aston Villa and Boro have an interesting relationship in the transfer market; four players have moved between both clubs during the last two transfer windows, with three heading to the Premier League side.
It appears Aitor Karanka is hoping to use that connection again, this time to seal a deal for Grealish – who was rated as one of English football’s most promising youngsters when he first broke into the Villa senior team under Tim Sherwood in 2015.
The 21-year-old’s career hasn’t quite taken off just yet, but the stats suggest he’d be a solid replacement for Ramirez, who has been Boro’s chief creator in the Premier League this term with 1.4 key passes-per-match.
Indeed, as our infographic shows, Grealish averages around one created chance, one dribble and one shot-per-appearance, scoring three in the Championship and laying an assist for one of his team-mates.
That may not seem so resounding for a second-tier player billed as such an enormous talent, but let’s not forget Grealish has played the full 90 minutes on just 13 occasions this season. In fact, his actual time on the pitch, 1,464 minutes, works out as just 16 full outings.