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Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is the first Player in My Pocket in years

The small attacker is not only Villa’s best player, but has other attributes that make him PiMP worthy

AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

It’s back, my friends — the column you’ve all been waiting for. The column that made it ok to express our love for tiny men. The column where we invite outsiders to proclaim their adoration for players who can fit in their pockets. The column that began by praising . . . Andrey Arshavin?

Yes, almost ten years ago I, Kirsten, the co-founder of this here site, decided it wasn’t enough to write up previews, set up link roundups, provide match reports, or rank the Aston Villa players. Nope. We needed a place where anyone, of any gender or any sexuality, could come on and tell the world why they wanted to carry a particular player around in their pocket for a day (or for forever). It’s a safe space around here. We even made expandable pockets for those who wanted to carry around players bigger than wee Barry Bannon. The column is meant to bring a little joy when the Villa world can be quite dark. So without ado, let’s begin.

This return to PiMPing is a throwback to the classics, to the tiny attackers who play out wide and create magic for their side. In other words, it must be about none other than Jack Grealish.

SuperJack is most Villa fans’ favorite player (but don’t buy his shirt; he’ll inevitably leave when you do). Even if he’s not their absolute fav, every Villan harbors a deep affection for Grealish, who is not only the captain in that he wears the armband, but in that he guides the game and he shapes the play. He is, without a doubt, the best player on Aston Villa.

And guess what? He’s only 5’9”, or 1.75m. And given those Villa kits that allow you to see every bump and divot, well, I can tell he’d fit in my pocket. The only question is — what about his hair? Let’s face it, before non-Villa fans cottoned on to the fact that Grealish is actually good, the only opinion bandied about on Twitter regarding Jack was whether his hair is amazing or awful.

(If you fall into the latter category, you can see yourself out right now. We’ll wait.)

Jack Grealish’s hair is a pillar of perfection. Just do a Google image search on the 24-year-old and click the first category, hairstyle. Now admire. See that perfect undercut? The perfectly smoothed sides? Then that nice flop that bounces in rhythm with his run, an outstanding feat of nature? But what’s truly incredible is that he finishes a game and his hair looks exactly the same. Perhaps that’s why a London-based barbershop (with an outpost in Birmingham) offers customers the Jack Grealish Haircut. But Jack, those of us who can’t fly to the UK on a whim to get your look (and who, let’s face it, would likely look more like Megan Rapinoe than the Aston Villa captain when all is done . . . has anyone ever noticed that connection before? Yes? No? Pinoe’s got more going on in the back, but it’s close. It may even be worth its own piece. But I digress) would really like to know what products you’re using. Is it a gel? A mousse? Do you use a defrizzing agent each day, given the drizzly English weather? How about a leave-in conditioner to make it so shiny? Forget the questions thrown at you at press conferences: this is what your public really wants to know.

I’d say “but I digress,” except I really do not. I don’t need a reason beyond a player’s majestic mane to put him in my pocket. The quickness with which Jack’s talent has grown does not need to be a factor. His capacity to direct the game is not necessary for me to want to tote him around. The way he’s able to create a play out of seemingly nowhere doesn’t need to play a part in this discussion. But it all does. Beyond the hair, beyond the tinyness, Jack Grealish goes into my pocket because he’s Villa’s best player.

If you’d like to write about which player — Villa or not, Premier League or not, man or not — you’d like to pick up and carry around in your pocket, contact 7500 to Holte or Kirsten directly.