The last few weeks have been impressive for Aston Villa’s new starlet, Jack Grealish.
His calm side-footed strike against Leicester combined with a game-changing performance in the second city derby has certainly added to the hype.
Tim Sherwood has insisted he has no plans to sell their prized academy product. He has even suggested that it would take more than £60 million to lure him away from the club.
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Yesterday, Grealish finally announced his decision to play for England at international level, so just how important could he prove to be?
In recent years, we have seen the likes of David Silva and Phillipe Coutinho pulling the offensive strings for their respective sides. The emergence of this “number 10” role has changed the English game and you would be hard pressed to see the top teams in the country without an offensive puppet master to pry apart defences.
In the national team, however, England are yet to find a player to take the number 10 shirt and make it their own. Though we have seen promising performances from Everton’s Ross Barkley playing behind the striker for both club and country.
Despite variations in playing style, the top footballing nations all have their creative attacking player. While England have pace out wide, we seem to be lacking a quality number 10 in the final third to cause the best teams any problems. This was evident as England made their early exit from the World Cup last summer.
If Grealish continues to develop, he could be the answer to the lacklustre attacking play we have seen from England. The younger attacking midfielder has gone from strength to strength after breaking through last year and could be a staple in Roy Hodgson’s future plans.
Apart from Barkley, there has not been another player in the England set up to give Hodgson a real option in behind the striker. Grealish could be the number 10 we so desperately need.