Aston Villa manager Dean Smith sees similarities between Jack Grealish and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli.
Grealish has been in terrific form for the Villans this season, contributing nine goals and seven assists in 27 appearances.
The captain is standing up to be counted for, and is viewed as crucial to the club’s hopes of staying in the Premier League.
He is, quite clearly, Villa’s talismanic figure, a notion Smith recognised this week as he compared the ace to Spurs’ Alli.
He said ahead of Villa’s game with Tottenham this weekend: “They have Dele Alli who is scoring goals. I remember first coming up against Dele Alli when I was manager at Walsall and he was at MK Dons.
“The ability he had at such a young age meant he went straight into a Premier League team and hit the ground running. He showed incredible potential which has continued.
“People have said he had a lean spell earlier this season but he has started scoring again and has always had that quality. We believe Jack Grealish has that star quality as well.”
£100,000-a-week star Alli (Spotrac) has been in much better form since Jose Mourinho took over at Spurs, scoring six goals under the Portuguese.
TBR’s view – Grealish undoubtedly Villa’s Alli
Smith is right to make the comparison between Grealish and Alli.
Positionally and age-wise they are similar, and Grealish has definitely been operating at a level close to that of Alli this season.
Over the course of the whole season, Grealish has probably outperformed Alli, and it will be interesting to see which, if any, of the pair are rewarded with a seat on the plane to the European Championships with England.