It can’t be denied that the England international team has some thoroughly exciting young players coming through the ranks right now, arguably some of the best youngsters in world football.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Foden, Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho and many more are all set to become the spine of the national team in future, but away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, which Championship Englishman could be set for a call-up in the near future?
There are a number of names, such as Che Adams and Jarrod Bowen, whose form this season has attracted admiring glances from the top-flight, but one man developing nicely is Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.
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The Villans’ academy graduate made his Premier League debut at the age of 18 against Manchester City, having previously been named on the bench as a 16-year-old.
Interestingly, the early days of his career were clouded in controversy, with the attacking midfielder allegedly using laughing gas and acting unprofessionally on more than one occasion – Remi Garde demoted him to the Under-21 side after a wild night out in Manchester.
Nowadays however, a 23-year-old Grealish is finally starting to knuckle down and focus on his football, avoiding controversy and overcoming adversity in a similar way to that of Raheem Sterling.
Grealish, who was also eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland, has managed to score four goals and record four assists in the Championship this season, visibly stepping up to the plate and maturing for his teammates and manager.
The most telling aspect of that statement is the recent Second City derby between Villa and Birmingham, in which Grealish was handed the armband in what is perhaps the biggest game of the season for the fans and for the club’s bragging rights.
After being shockingly assaulted by a fan, Grealish reacted calmly and professionally, refusing to retaliate at a time where a reaction would’ve been more than justified.
Instead, he brushed himself down, got on with things and managed to score the winner in a 1-0 victory at St Andrew’s.
Tottenham were keen on signing him back in the summer, which speaks volumes about his current ability, potential, and his ceiling to improve given Mauricio Pochettino’s desire to get his hands on him and nourish his talent – Grealish himself feels he would’ve received a call-up had he moved to north London.
He has always been tipped for big things since he broke onto the scene, but after a period of stagnation whilst he attempted to find himself and grow out of his immature ways, things are starting to become clearer for a young talent who now has his head screwed on.
He is sure to benefit hugely from his personal growth in the near future though, as will England and Gareth Southgate who have a real talent on their hands.