Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood insists he wouldn’t consider selling Jack Grealish, not even for a British transfer record fee of £60million.
The 20-year-old has been at the Midlands club since linking up with his heroes when he was just six, and made the bench in a Premier League match against Chelsea ten years later. After an impressive loan spell at Notts County during 2013-14, he returned to Villa and made his debut as a late substitute in a crushing defeat to Manchester City at the end of that season.
Grealish was the considered part of the first team squad at Villa Park and featured, again from the bench, in the opening day 1-0 win at Stoke City. The midfielder went on to make a further 16 league outings, but it his performance in the FA Cup semi-final win against Liverpool which really caught the eye, and he has continued to progress since this Wembley clash.
The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, who is the subject of a tug-of-war between the Irish and England, both of whom he is eligible to represent at full level, has made five appearances this season and scored his first senior goal in the defeat at Leicester City. Grealish is certainly impressing Sherwood, who claims selling him would require a British transfer record fee.
“I wouldn’t want to sell Jack Grealish for £60million today,” he said in the Daily Mail. “I know what he could possibly be. What looks expensive this year might not be expensive next year. He is certainly a type of player we have seen at the very top level for the likes of Liverpool and in the past for Aston Villa, we have to recognise that. He’s not a shop window job, he’s our player.
“We couldn’t put a price on him. I certainly wouldn’t. But he’s got to realise – I’ve been on at him every day – there is more to the game than just when you’re in possession. He is certainly a talented player and you want to play him in his best position which is No 10. But he also needs to start working hard to find the ball. He could be the key that unlocks the door for us.”
Grealish was again on top form in midweek, as he played the key role in the League Cup win over rivals Birmingham City when he was introduced at half-time. He will now hope to be given the nod to start at the weekend, when Sherwood takes his side to Anfield to face Liverpool in a match which the visitors need to collect three points to ease their early season poor form.
Villa started the campaign with a sound 1-0 win at top-flight new-boys Bournemouth, but this remains their only Premier League victory thus far. Aside from a home draw against basement side Sunderland, Sherwood’s men have lost their other fixtures, including the 3-2 reverse at Leicester when they appeared to be heading for victory as they took a 2-0 lead.