Former Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede believes his former teammate Jack Grealish ‘belongs in the Champions League’, amid continued speculation over his future.
The club captain played a vital role in keeping Villa in the Premier League, scoring in the 1-1 draw with West Ham United on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
He may not have shown his best form during Project Restart, but Grealish undoubtedly lit up the Premier League earlier in the campaign.
It remains to be seen now if he will stick around for another term at Villa Park but in the eyes of Gestede, the £35,000-a-week Englishman (Spotrac) has the talent to be playing for a top club.
He told talkSPORT: “Now he’s the captain of the team, so he’s got a bit more responsibility and he’s dealt with it very well. He deserves to be in the spotlight. He deserves a call from England probably very soon.
“It’s not an easy to decision. The club have got a contract with him and they’ve got to decide if they sell or not. I’ve just read that they’ve put a very high price for him and it could be difficult to move for him. He’s got the ability and the talent to play in the Champions League, so that’s where he belongs.”
Grealish has been with Villa since the age of six, which no doubt makes the decision he’ll have to make a tough one.
TBR’s view – Villa transfer activity will be crucial
Villa fans won’t thank Gestede for potentially planting a seed, but he is probably right with his assessment.
If Villa want to keep hold of their talisman, then it’ll be important for them to show him they mean business.
Grealish does just about have the talent to play in Europe’s elite competition, so it is vital for the club to give him enough reason to stay.
Signing players that will make big difference could be one way of stopping him from leaving.
Ultimately though, if a team comes in with a blockbuster offer, the club may simply be powerless to stand in his way.