It seems somewhat crass to pontificate as to why Jack Grealish wasn’t signed by a major European team given just how well his beloved Aston Villa are doing at the moment.
A historic outfit in their own right, constant transfer links do a disservice to the bond between captain and club during what looks to be a seriously exciting campaign for the Midlands giants.
Still, writing in his column, Daniel Storey did hint at an interesting theory in regards to Grealish’s remaining at Villa Park.
While it must be said that Storey was in no way criticising the Villa captain, he did note that the 25-year-old’s utter dominance is unlikely to be replicated should he move elsewhere.
‘’Grealish would surely not dominate play for England as he can for his club’’ he wrote in his post on Optus Sport.
‘’It is the same reason that no financial behemoth - at home or abroad - agreed to pay a price that would surely have seen Grealish leave Birmingham before signing his new contract in September.’’
Even aside from the more obvious attacking metrics such as goals contributions (9, the most in the team) and the fact WhoScored note that, last season, Grealish ranked first for key passes, shots and fouls drawn per game, the extent of his dominance cannot be understated.
As you can see from the graphic below, he’s first in even the more underlying statistics too. Indeed, that’s even following the arrival of established England Ross Barkley, who has certainly impressed himself.
With that in mind, Storey is right in that assessment.
Surely an elite team would have the kind of resources that naturally means he’d have more competition on that front and, therefore, at least somewhat soften the leadership skills he’s shown in that he wouldn’t be the driving force.
That isn’t to say he wouldn’t perform elsewhere but he’s just much more important to Villa than he would be to any other team, much as his situation with England would suggest. A substitute at best so far, there appear to be at least three options ahead of him in a 3-4-3.
None of this is a bad thing. Grealish is an exceptional player and the love story between he and Villa is heart-warming in a footballing age where the richest teams in the world tend to hoover up the best talent only to form part of their squad.
After recently signing a new deal, it seems like Villa and Grealish are the perfect long-term match.
- Naming the most overrated player at every Premier League club
- How the Premier League table would look if VAR wasn't in use
- Watch Grealish absolutely destroy a Spanish international