‘Grealish will make future call in January’ – Man Utd-linked star may have to leave Aston Villa, admits Bent
The ex-Villans striker believes a talented playmaker harbouring international ambitions will need a switch in order to make England’s Euro 2020 squad
Jack Grealish will be “looking at the situation” regarding his future in January, says former Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, with the Manchester United-linked playmaker possibly needing a move in order to force his way into England’s 2020 squad.
The 24-year-old currently finds himself on the fringes of the Three Lions fold.
Many have talked up his claims to a place in Gareth Southgate’s plans, but competition comes from the likes of James Maddison, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley.
Grealish will need to raise his game again if he is to make the 23-man party, and a change of scenery could aid that cause.
As a product of Villa’s academy system and boyhood supporter of the club, strong ties in the West Midlands will not be easy to break.
A big-money approach in the winter window could turn his head, though, with speculation building regarding a potential switch to Old Trafford.
Bent believes Grealish will mull over his options if a relegation battle remains on the cards at Villa, with a step up the ladder needing to be made at the right time in his promising career.
The ex-Villa frontma told Football Insider: “Jack Grealish is their best player, I’m sure in January he’s going to be looking at the situation.
“If he’s got any aspirations of making that European squad next year, he needs to be playing in a team that’s doing well. Him playing in a team that’s fighting relegation is not doing him any favours.
“I do worry about Aston Villa from that perspective as well, so it’s going to be an interesting and awkward second half of the season for them.”
Grealish came close to leaving Villa in the summer of 2018, with Tottenham leading the chase for his signature.
No deal was done and promotion back into the big time was secured at the end of a memorable campaign.
Dean Smith has sought to quash the rumours suggesting that a deal could be done in January, but his resolve may be tested.
The Villa boss has said: “There’s been a lot of speculation about a lot of our players.
“But we’ve two owners who want to build a football club, challenging in the top half of the table, and top six in a few years’ time.
“To do that you have to keep your best players and I’ve no doubts in my mind the owners will want to keep those players.”
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