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Jack Grealish “could probably choose 99 per cent of clubs in the world” if he decided to leave Aston Villa, says former team-mate Alan Sheehan, with the 25-year-old considered to be ready for theChampions League stage.
International recognition has come the way of thetalented playmaker this season, with impressive progress being made by a confident character who is seeing his full potential unlocked.
Big-money moves have been mooted in recent windows, with Manchester United and Tottenham among those said to be keen, and it could be that Grealish’s future lies outside of his native West Midlands.
Sheehan can see a top talent climbing the ladder at some stage in the near future, with a man who captained Grealish during a loan spell at Notts County in 2013-14 claiming that he would not look out of place at a global heavyweight.
He has told the Birmingham Mail’s Claret & Blue Podcast: “For me right now he’s one of the best players in the Premier League.
“I would be surprised if he wasn’t up for PFA Player of the Year.
“I think it’s up to him. He’s a legend and captain of his boyhood club. He could probably choose 99 per cent of clubs in the world.
“What’s been unbelievable for him, particularly in the last 18 months to 24 months, has been Dean Smith who is a brilliant manager. Villa are evolving as a club and obviously, they will want to go as high as possible.
“But with Jack it depends. If he wants to move on, I’d be confident he could do it in the Champions League or winning trophies, whatever.
“It seems like at the moment he wants to do it at Aston Villa. It’s all up to him about how far he wants to go and I think his hunger and everything that he has, he will keep just kicking on.”
A niggling knock has prevented Grealish from figuring for Villa over recent weeks, with five games sat out.
He has also missed out on a place in England’s squad for the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying, but will hope to do enough over the coming months to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate’s plans for this summer’s European Championship.
Impressive standards have been maintained this season when clear of injury, with seven goals and 10 assists recorded through 23 appearances.