Jack Grealish and Josh Onomah are two similar players carving out very different futures at Villa Park right now for Aston Villa. The on-loan Onomah has enjoyed bright spells, but hasn’t won the plaudits (or the fans) just yet at Villa, while Jack Grealish is enjoying the best period of form in his young career so far.
While Grealish has enjoyed vast amounts of privilege this season (he’s a starter, the team is built around him, he’s not played out of position), which he has admittedly earned, Onomah is constantly deployed out of position and isn’t in favour at Villa. Onomah came on to replace goal-scorer Albert Adomah at the 67 minute mark and was pushed into a role on Villa’s left-wing, an awkward position for Onomah. However, Jack Grealish has also spent time on the left-wing and enjoyed switching his position around with Onomah as the pair seemed to embark on a ‘free-role’ setup, which saw them ducking, diving and weaving between each other to ignite Villa.
Now - enough about the background story.
Yesterday, against Burton Albion, Jack Grealish and Josh Onomah came together to produce one of the best plays in recent history for Aston Villa. There’s a strong argument to be made for Scott Hogan’s goal in the same match which saw the team link up, or even Conor Hourihane’s goal against Bristol City.
A five-touch dribble is the most amount of time spent on the ball between Onomah and Grealish. Grealish’s movement and using Onomah as a reference point for the ball shows the pure amount of chemistry and intelligence between these two players. This is Premier League football - and not just that. This is a showcase of high-level ability between two players who could focus in the international spotlight within a few years.
While Grealish is the focus of the play - you can’t ignore Onomah, who creates three plays with just three touches. Before he was fouled, Grealish looks to pass the ball to Onomah once more. If he gets that move off, it’s a goal.
It’s a shame that this movement didn’t result in the goal, or penalty that it should have - but that should not put these pair of players off the thought of replicating this move in future. What an excellent highlight.