Jack Grealish has signed a new four-year contract at Aston Villa, the club he has held a season ticket at since he was four-years-old.
The talented midfielder has come through the ranks of the Midlands club to make his breakthrough to the first team picture this season, coming on four times as a substitute in the Premier League and playing the full ninety minutes of the disappointing League Cup defeat to Leyton Orient. With his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign, Paul Lambert had made it one of his priorities to tie the youngster to a new agreement.
Indeed, this had become more of a pressing matter in recent weeks, amidst speculation that the 19-year-old had been brought to the attention of Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho. However, the Portuguese now has little chance of luring Grealish to the capital anytime soon, after he agreed fresh terms on a deal which will keep him at Villa Park until 2018.
“I’ve grown up supporting the club,” he is quoted on the Guardian website. “In fact I’ve had a season ticket at Villa since I was four years old and came to every game so this is a big thing for me and my family. This has always been a club that plays a big role in the community, it has a family feel to it and I’m proud to be part of that now. This feels like home.
“For the manager and the club to show this faith and trust in me, I’m really appreciative and I’m determined to repay that trust. I know I have to keep developing and progressing and strive to be as good a player as I can possibly be. Every day I’m learning from the players here and the manager, and that can only benefit me in the long run.”
Grealish becomes the second Villa player to sign a new deal in recent weeks, after Gabriel Agbonlahor did likewise last month. Lambert is still determined to convinced Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph to follow suit, with both currently set to become free agents in the summer. It has been widely reported that Manchester United are interested in the Dutch defender, whilst the England international is also likely to have his admirers.
The Daily Star reported on Tuesday that Vlaar, 29, will be offered the chance to double his wages to £50,000-per-week to stay at Villa, but in reality he will know he could earn more at Old Trafford. The Mirror, meanwhile, claim 24-year-old Delph has already been offered a four-year extension, as they look to stave off January interest in the midfielder.
How good can Grealish become for Villa, and how important is it for the club to keep Vlaar and Delph? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.