After the sales of Fabian Delph and top goalscorer Christian Benteke, Aston Villa look more than likely to face a relegation battle once again this season.
Last yea a 19-year-old winger was one of the stand-out stars late in Aston Villa’s season - especially in the FA Cup.
He will need to up his game this year to achieve better performances that he did last season if Tim Sherwood is to give Jack Grealish a chance again in the first team.
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Grealish will need to add goals to his game as well as a few more assists in his first full season at Aston Villa.
He is highly rated amongst the staff at Villa, especially those that work in the Under-21s and the Villa academy. After a slight injury in pre-season he looks set to return to the Under-21 games for match fitness before rejoining the first team in August.
However, there is one aspect that Grealish needs to address and that is how his private life affects his playing career.
Whilst on his short holiday break, Grealish hit the headlines for his antics whilst abroad, and people reacted either one way or the other.
On one side, you had the argument that he is just a 19-year-old doing what normal people that age would do. Whereas on the other side, you had people criticising him for his antics, saying that as a pro-footballer, he needed to be setting an example.
This debate made it all the way to Roy Hodgson, who also criticised the player. It will be interesting to see how he will react this season and if his private life will be more reserved when the season begins.
Grealish is at the right club
It will be interesting to see whether Sherwood gives Grealish a chance in the first team throughout the season, but I think that seeing Grealish playing in the first team this year will almost certainly happen especially after a few of his performances last year.
He possesses good pace, passing and attacking ability that can trouble defences - there is no doubt that he will be a good player in the future for his club and whatever country he is representing but, at the minute, I can see no one better than Tim Sherwood to continue his development with.
It will be interesting to see what this year holds for Villa’s young prospect as when he returns he will no longer have Benteke in front of him, and even though they have a viable replacement in Jordan Ayew, there is no reason that Grealish can't bag a few goals himself this season.
It should be interesting to see what Sherwood does with him this season and whether or not he can perform consistently at a first-team level.
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