It would be inconceivable that Jack Grealish leaves Aston Villa in the same summer that the Midlands club sealed promotion back to the Premier League, but the 23-year-old’s long-term future is in doubt.
He nearly joined Tottenham last summer and admitted disappointment over the move breaking down. Grealish is expected to captain Villa at the start of the 2019/20 season, but could the Londoners get their man in January 2020?
A strong campaign could see the £25k-per-week midfielder in contention of making England’s Euro 2020 squad next summer. Manager Gareth Southgate told Grealish that he needed to be playing in the top-flight to boost his hopes of a call-up. But does he also need to be with a top-six club?
The Three Lions’ squad for the upcoming Nations League features six players from Tottenham Hotspur, four players from Manchester City, three players from Liverpool, two players from Manchester United and two players from Everton.
Southgate’s squad does feature players from Stoke, Burnley, Southampton, West Ham and Bournemouth, but the majority aren’t going to be in the starting XI. Grealish may need to impress at a bigger side to be taken more seriously.
Villa fans don’t expect the playmaker to spend his entire career at his boyhood club, but the majority would have been hoping he’d stay for all of 2019/20. Grealish’s hopes of representing England in the European Championships may affect his decision-making in the transfer window, however.
If he doesn’t make the squad for the Euros, he’ll have to wait two years for the next tournament. Tottenham remain keen on his signature and are likely to ramp up the pressure, but Villa could be resistant and Grealish may not want to rock the boat mid-season. Time will tell what he considers more important in his career – club loyalty or international ambition.
Stats from Transfermarkt.