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Di Matteo: Jack Grealish still has future at Villa Park

Despite transfer rumours indicating Jack Grealish could be moving on from Villa, new manager Roberto Di Matteo indicated the boyhood supporter and young prospect is still set to be a factor at B6.

Jack Grealish of England during the Toulon Tournament match between Japan and England at the Stade Leo Lagrange on May 27, 2016 in Toulon, France.
Jack Grealish of England during the Toulon Tournament match between Japan and England at the Stade Leo Lagrange on May 27, 2016 in Toulon, France.
Harry Trump/Getty Images

Fear not, Aston Villa fans! Despite rumours a couple weeks ago that Jack Grealish could be in for a return to the Premier League, potentially with Stoke City, the Birmingham Mail’s recent interview with manager Roberto Di Matteo indicates the young midfielder is set to stick around at Villa Park.

"What I will say is that I think he is a talented boy and I think he has a future here," Di Matteo revealed in the interview.

While an exit always seemed a little unlikely for Grealish, a boyhood Villa fan, it would’ve been made more likely if Di Matteo didn’t rate the 20-year old. But with that behind us, it looks like Grealish will play a part this season for the Claret and Blues, though Di Matteo said he won’t go into details on the player’s role for the 2016-17 campaign.

Di Matteo notes Villa fans should give Grealish a bit of time, but pointed out that "ultimately, it is always down to the person," something most supporters would agree with.

Despite being the brunt of many jokes thanks to his record on the pitch last term — Grealish never played in a winning or drawing Villa side in the league — most would agree Grealish has to be a key player for the club moving forward on the path back to the Premier League. He showed that in the 2014-15 season, when his play got Villa to an FA Cup Final and secured top-flight survival, and recapturing that form would be immaculate.

If Tommy Elphick signs for Villa, as was widely reported earlier this week, his first meeting with Grealish could be a little interesting, as some have noted.

Regardless of the #bantz that could be on store in the dressing room, it’s great to see Di Matteo sees eye-to-eye with Villa support on our talented youngster.