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Aston Villa 2018-19 player preview: Jack Grealish

Villa’s boy wonder... for now

Aston Villa v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final
This was the moment that everything may have changed.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Jack Grealish is the first name on the Aston Villa team sheet. And this player preview sat undone for days because everyone fears the elephant in the room. Everyone knows the season ticket holder to star man story. Everyone has seen the hug with John Terry at full time after the playoff final loss.

Everyone knows he could leave the club. There’s a chance.

On the field Jack is the key to unlocking the defense. The young man can create his own space with clever dribbles and finds teammates well. He is getting better at looking for goals and he will need to continue to improve. Defenses single out Jack from the opening kickoff and many decide to take a physical route to stop the lad. The strategy often works for two reasons — Jack has the reputation of going to ground easily and when he doesn’t get the calls he can get quite frustrated. With more experience, Jack needs to keep the temper in check.

Off the field with the new owners the financial pressure to sell at a cut rate price is gone. But that does not mean the pressure to sell is. Jack is the biggest asset at the club, can demand a big transfer price, and likely wants to play in the Premier League. The club star players are not being shopped around. But we’ve been on this merry-go-round before. I’ll have jump of fear every time the club tweets. If — and it is very much an if — Jack leaves for a decent price he goes with my blessings, thanks, and well-wishes. I get it.

This run could have changed everything... and in the end maybe it did.

Goodbye Jack? Hello Jack?