Aston Villa have been offered a glimpse of hope that most supporters dare not dream about, with a former phenom touted to return in a shocking twist to the tale.
What’s the word?
That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claim that, following agent Haydn Dodge’s recent claim that “Aston Villa could look to bring Grealish back” to the club, Pep Guardiola is willing to part with the 27-year-old next summer.
With the Spaniard now said to be eyeing a move for coveted teenager Jude Bellingham, Grealish might be one star at risk of losing their spot in the English champions’ side, with financial fair play regulations possibly hindering a move for Borussia Dortmund’s prized asset – unless Manchester City can shift their current England international first.
Break the bank
Jack Grealish is one of the most beloved figures in Aston Villa’s recent history, with his guile and elegance cementing his status as a club icon. His wily weaving captivated supporters, and his efforts on the pitch in leading Villa back to the Premier League and securing sustained status in the division won hearts and alighted the spark that football fans crave when attending live matches.
However, Villa might find a deal somewhat difficult to get over the line, with City likely aiming to recuperate a large proportion of the £100m figure they paid for the 37-cap England international, but this does not rule the midlands outfit out of the reckoning.
Grealish, the Citizens’ record signing, has only scored seven goals in 55 outings since his lucrative transfer, recording four assists, but has remained a valuable presence to have on the pitch, with his strength lying in his play, rather than his clinical ability.
And with just one goal scored this term, the 27-year-old is in danger of losing his spot in the squad, with City on the prowl for one of football’s most touted starlets in Bellingham.
Should Villa boss Unai Emery succeed in completing a sensational transfer for the former ace, he would wield one of the division’s deftest dribblers, a star of world-class quality capable of bringing the club the European endeavours which they so desire.
With Emery a four-time Europa League winner, it would be fair to say that he has something of a knack for sniffing out silverware, and with Grealish – dubbed an “unbelievable talent” by Paddy Davitt – returning to the fold, there would be a genuine argument that such a feat could be achieved.
As per FBref, he ranks within the top 2% for pass completion and the top 8% for rate of shot-creating actions per 90 of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues – clearly a player capable of instigating promising moments with devastating bursts of energy.
And, Sofascore rate his excellent performances for England at the 2022 World Cup at an average of 7.23, with his late goal stamping the emphasis on a stunning 6-2 victory against Iran in the group opener.
His movement down the left flank is a component that would aid any team in European football in their offensive endeavours, with the player incredibly winning 100% of his duels in Qatar and completing 91% of his passes.
Whether Villa and Unai Emery manage to clinch their former star remains to be seen, but his prowess and aptitude shine brighter than anything else the club has seen for some time, and he would be a talismanic figure that the Spaniard could shape his team around, forging a path towards glory once again for this prestigious club.