Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish opens up about being the most fouled player in the Premier League

Jack Grealish 1

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has admitted he enjoys his tag as the most fouled player in the Premier League.  

The 25-year-old England international famously broke the record for being fouled more times than any other player in a single campaign last term, with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (120) and Jordan Ayew (105) falling well short of his record of 167 fouls won

Grealish sat down with presenter Harry Pinero in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from comparisons with Paul Gascoigne, emulating Kevin de Bruyne and making his England debut last year, in the latest episode of Assumptions on the UMM YouTube channel.

"Facts. Big facts. Yeah, 'course," Grealish said of his tag as the most fouled player in a Premier League season. "I take it as a compliment, people say that I go down easily, but I don't feel like I dive - I know a lot of fans do..." 

The Aston Villa captain also discussed life under Dean Smith at Villa Park, and his friendship with Ross Barkley, Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

When asked about what it is really like to play for Smith, Grealish said: "He's brilliant. I think I work best with a manager that, not puts his arm round me, but you know, I can speak to about anything and acts as like a father figure really.

"Under my managers, I've played my best football under Dean Smith, Tim Sherwood and Steve Bruce, I'd say, and they're the three that have always acted like that for me.  

"Obviously the whole team and the whole club is now getting the rewards from it."

Grealish, who is currently valued at £45m via Transfermarkt, has scored six goals, recording a further ten assists, in 22 top-flight appearances this season.

He has partly been assisted by the arrival of Barkley in the summer, with the pair forming a pivotal partnership that has been central to Villa's good form which has seen them surge into the top half of the table. 

Grealish opened up about the role he played in convincing Barkley to make the surprise switch from Stamford Bridge to Villa Park on a season-long loan. 

"Ross is ledge [sic], man. I knew Ross about a year ago. I went to Dubai with him in the winter break last February," he said. 

"In the summer, I saw that he might be moving, so I got in touch with him and said, 'listen, keep Villa in mind.'

"It progressed and obviously he's come to the club and since then we haven't really looked back."

He added: "When you have a connection with someone off the pitch, you know, as soon as you get on to the pitch, you just bounce off each other."

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