Jack Grealish is never far from the spotlight and that has again been the case in recent weeks. Whilst his team were earning headlines on the pitch, embarking on a ten match win streak and then being at the centre of controversy at Elland Road last weekend, the 23-year-old was embroiled in more transfer talk.
The latest report regarding the creative midfielder’s future saw him attract the interest of Crystal Palace last week, who are considering lining him up as a Wilfried Zaha replacement.
2018/19 has been a big season for Grealish, having been given the captain’s armband and also being named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year. Losing him, therefore, would be massive. But what would the wider consequences of his potential departure be?
There is a pretty major positive when it comes to the sale of Grealish. Any money they’d get from the player would likely be significant and, given the Villans’ problems with money last summer, it could lead to a completely different transfer window this time around.
Whilst it would be far from ideal to lose a player of Grealish’s quality, they’d be able to invest in other areas of the squad that are perhaps more of a priority.
Villa’s midfield already boasts John McGinn and Conor Hourihane, so it wouldn’t too big a loss in terms of creativity. But by gaining funds from Grealish, it would be a big advantage in financing marquee deals for Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham – should the club decide to try and make their loan deals permanent, of course.
Dean Smith’s side face the possibility of gaining promotion at the end of May and an extra cash windfall could be make or break in building a side capable of sustaining itself in the Premier League.
McGinn has been absolutely sensational since arriving from Hibernian last summer and has thrived in English football. As a result, he could easily become the key man in the Villa team.
The Scot has been a creative force, scoring and assisting on a regular basis, playing a part in 15 goals. With Grealish gone, it would give the 24-year-old an even bigger creative license that could take him to the next level.
The pair have been partners in crime this term but when Grealish goes forward McGinn sometimes has to remain more disciplined.
Therefore, a more attacking role for him would be frightening given his goal scoring prowess.
Losing Grealish would hinder the team, but with the ability his midfield counterpart provides, Villa will take comfort knowing they have a man capable of stepping into his shoes.
That would not have been imaginable when Spurs tabled a bid for the former England U21 international last summer, however, Villa possess an able replacement this time round.
Villa have a fine 17-year-old talent known by the name of Jacob Ramsey coming through at the moment. He’s a hugely exciting young footballer but with Grealish, McGinn and Hourihane all in his way, he’ll find it difficult to get first team minutes.
The creative midfielder has already made one appearance for the first team but if you take one of those men away then his path into the senior squad becomes clearer.
Blessed with pace, wonderful technique and the ability to score and create goals, he’s the perfect Grealish replacement in the future.
He’s still very much a raw talent but going forward is certainly one to watch out for. If Villa fans become restless after losing a player who’s come through their system, they’d surely be encouraged that another one is waiting in the wings and ready for a chance.
As it turns out, Grealish isn’t as indispensable as some at the club may think.