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What If: Jack Grealish was born in America?

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We tear apart the space-time continuum and rewrite the history of Jack Grealish in our very first 'What If?' style article

Would stardom have burned Jack Grealish down in the same manner as Freddy Adu?
Would stardom have burned Jack Grealish down in the same manner as Freddy Adu?
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

It's probably worth starting off with some sort of disclaimer, Jack Grealish isn't American. I'm not geographically challenged, bored - maybe, but geographically challenged, no.

First name Jack, second name Grealish.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts - Jack Grealish found himself with the world at his feet. Kicking spherical objects in the park, at school, in the bath seemed to come almost too naturally to the youngster.*

"Jacky had it all. We could see it from a young age and If he'd been born elsewhere, he'd have gone on to greatness. It's almost a shame he had to line up with Damarcus Beasley." - Bruce Arena (He coached the U.S.A once and manages to stay relevant.)

It wasn't long before Jack's ego snowballed. Having been the star of every single team he had been placed into, the MLS draft came as a shock. Jack's future, for once, wasn't in his hands.

The 'Irish' youngster found himself at a team with a silly naming convention - Real Salt Lake (What's next, Sporting Kansas City?). Jack Grealish, at age 22 was already a star; Pepsi bottles had his face plastered over them, he had his own fragrance - it was almost his own series of Entourage. After winning the MLS multiple times, Jack realised that football in the States wasn't cutting it for him.

"He told me that he wanted to play some 'real football'. I told him the Packers ain't looking for a kicker." - Jeff Cassar - Real Salt Lake coach

International football was another story. At this point, Grealish had played nearly 45 times for the USMNT, but glory evaded him - mainly due to a striking force consisting of Jozy Altidore. Let us not forget the famous 'Panama Incident', which involved Jack flipping a dollar at a sleeping Kyle Beckerman (mistaking him for a homeless person) that ended up with Beckerman being sent home - largely because sending Jack home means no-one on the team outside of Michael Bradley could pass the football.

The 2018 World Cup bore great fruits for U.S soccer and Jack Grealish. Having reached the quarter-finals of the fabled tourney and Jack gaining a place in the team of the tournament, a move to Europe beckoned - but many a time had the ships filled with American soccer dreams scuppered on European soil. A team-mate convinced him that a  certain team in the EPL had the need for a tricky, dynamic, skinny youngster.

Jurgen Klinsmann tried to scupper Jack's move to Europe, where pressure may have forged him into a different type of player, but Grealish held strong against the German.

"Jack Grealish is mine to behold! If he realises that teams can play football better than over here, why will he come back?" - Jurgen Klinsmann - U.S Soccer Head Coach.

It only cost Aston Villa FC $4 Million to prise Jack Grealish from Real Salt Lake and over half of that fee went to Major League Soccer.

"Haha! Fools!" - MLS Execs upon seeing their share of the Grealish windfall.

The move to Aston Villa was Jack's breaking point. As one of the U.S.A's young stars, he was hounded daily on Sportscenter segments criticising his latest tweets. A botched free-kick in the dying seconds of the Confederations Cup in Qatar was played over-and-over on ESPN. Jack's morale took a nosedive and at age 27, he retired from international football, ending any connection with his homeland. In the same vein as Freddy Adu, Jack was raised on a platform, before being chucked off and laughed at by Warren Sapp (before the world started laughing at Warren Sapp, again.)

I won't spoil the rest of Jack's career - but it begs the question. What would have become of Grealish had he been born in a proper footballing nation?

*This might just be a satire piece.