It has taken far too long but Jack Grealish has finally reached the level it had been expected he would reach when he left his Aston Villa introduction as an 18-year-old.
On a few occasions, however, it seemed like he’d be among those that failed to deliver on his early promise.
These episodes contributed to a sense that off-pitch distractions would stunt his advancement, just as they have with many others before.
Luckily for Villa, Grealish has developed — both on the field and off it. He is currently captain of the club in the Premier League and an England call-up looks inevitable. Though the Villans have barely set the top-flight alight this term — they are now in 17th place — the 24-year-old has been one of the standout players of this season.
His form has not gone unnoticed. Tottenham Hotspur are famous long-term admirers of their fleet-footed maestro and recent reports claim Manchester United have identified Grealish, together with James Maddison, since the participant to fill the creative void in their own team. Liverpool have also been connected with the Villa man previously.
But that does not mean Grealish will accompany them back to the Championship. Having showcased what he can perform at the top tier, clubs might want to keep him there.
What is regarded as a move in the right direction can stagnate a profession? With that in mind, we have taken a peek at what the numbers tell us about Grealish.
On a per 90 foundation, his target participation is coming in at 0.58 while his anticipated numbers (goals and assists) average out at 0.37. He is overperforming but top talents do.
The takeaway from this is, he is a dependable and normal goal threat. By way of instance, he is expected to score a goal each 4.5 matches. It’s likely these amounts would increase when he moved into a more dominant club. And that has to be an intriguing idea for any interested teams.
But Grealish is far more than a goalscorer. He is a creative threat, too. His match is well-rounded and this makes him a standout choice to clubs seeking to bolster their attacking options.
Of the 42 moves he tries per 90, 2.8 are crucial. What’s more, despite playing what could be deemed as insecure passes, he is still discovering a team-mate with near 86 percent. Unexpectedly, he also completes the identical proportion of moves he attempts in the last third.
Grealish has managed to balance innovative and incisive moves with the capacity to retain possession. What will usually happen is imaginative players have lower completion numbers; it is accepted as part of their risk.
Not only can he break lines using a pass, but he could also lead to utter chaos in the last third with his ability on the ball. He’s completing 67 percent of his tried dribbles. Stand him off and he’ll select a pass. Get close and he has the power to skip the opponent and split into the area.
Grealish is not on pace, and that’s part of what makes him such an intriguing player. It’s why leading teams are weighing up a possible move for.
At 24, it is not now or not to Grealish. However, his stock is at its greatest. His performances for Villa show he is at home in the Premier League, something which was an unanswered question heading into this season.
His next step would be to check if he can cut it to get a team competing at the top end of this table. With competition for places in the England squad fiercer than ever, the midfield maestro can not afford to get left behind if he has dreams of being a part of Gareth Southgate’s long-term aims.