Aston Villa duo Jacob Ramsey and Matty Cash have flourished since Jack Grealish’s summer departure, according to Birmingham Live journalist Ashley Preece.
How did Grealish’s move away from Villa come about?
Grealish joined Manchester City for a British record fee of £100million last month, with Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow confirming the deal went through after the winger’s release clause had been triggered.
The 26-year-old became the reigning Premier League champions’ second-highest paid player after penning a six-year deal worth £300,000-per-week.
It came after City boss Pep Guardiola had set his sights on signing England international duo Grealish and Harry Kane, of Tottenham Hotspur, before the transfer window closed.
Guardiola ultimately failed to draft Kane in from north London but Grealish has gone on to make a fine start to his career at the Etihad Stadium, scoring twice and grabbing as many assists in his first eight outings.
Grealish found the back of the net 32 times over the course of 213 appearances for his boyhood club.
What has Ashley Preece made of Villa since Grealish’s exit?
Preece believes Villa have adapted to life without Grealish well and the likes of Ramsey and Cash have come to the fore since.
The journalist even argues Villa boast a better all-round squad following Grealish’s departure.
Preece told GMS: “I think Villa are a better equipped side without Grealish.
Man City BEAT Chelsea as Man Utd LOSE to Aston Villa! Check out full reaction on The Football Terrace…
“They used to go down Grealish’s side constantly, whereas now you have players like Jacob Ramsey having the belief to take risks and Matty Cash doing excellent down the right-hand side.
“This new system seems to be favouring a lot of other players.”
How have Villa performed this season?
Cash, one of the players Preece mentioned, has already enjoyed a memorable start to the campaign after scoring the first Premier League goal of his career in the convincing 3-0 victory over Everton earlier this month.
Ramsey, another who was name-checked by Preece, has been given even more opportunities by Villa boss Dean Smith this season having started four of the club’s six top flight fixtures so far.
Despite making a disappointing start to the new season after suffering a defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Watford, Villa have gone on to win four of the Premier League games which have followed.
Their promising start to life without Grealish was rubber-stamped when they secured a late 1-0 win over Manchester United at the weekend, breaking their hosts’ unbeaten start to the domestic campaign and emerging victorious at Old Trafford for the first time in 12 years.