The Chalkboard: How can Aston Villa cope if Jack Grealish leaves?

It appears as though Jack Grealish’s Aston Villa future is never certain. Last summer he was subject of a bid from Tottenham which was swiftly rejected, before the north London club renewed their interest in March 2019.

The midfielder has also been attracting the eyes of Crystal Palace, who only last week had lined him up as a potential Wilfried Zaha replacement, according to The Daily Mail.

It’s been a huge season for Grealish so it’s hardly a surprise to see him taking the fancy of Premier League clubs again.

The 23-year-old is now the Villa captain and was also named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

With that in mind, how can Dean Smith’s men cope if he leaves?

On the chalkboard

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Villa losing Grealish would be disastrous. From midfield, he’s scored six goals and also claimed six assists, a considerable tally for a player from that area of the pitch. He’s only featured 31 times too.

However, the options Smith possesses in central areas doesn’t make him irreplaceable.

That’s predominantly down to John McGinn, who in some senses, has outperformed his midfielder partner, Grealish. The Scot arrived from Hibernian last summer and has been nothing short of sensational.

He possesses an engine that the much sought after Villa man doesn’t have, whilst he also has the ability to score and assist goals. With Grealish leaving, it could free up a more advanced role for the Scot to flourish in.

Just imagine what he could do with greater license in forward areas. At 24, McGinn still has potential and given the loss he was during a suspension back in February and March, would arguably be a bigger blow if he were to leave.

To add to that, Villa have Conor Hourihane in their ranks too. Should Grealish depart, then they wouldn’t be short on creative outlets.

Therefore, the resources they already possess suggests they’d have no trouble coping if one of their star men did pack his bags.