Jamie Carragher has included Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in his Premier League team of the season so far, with 10 games left to finish when football can return from its current suspension.
Grealish is captain of a Villa team that are sat 19th in the league standings right now, but they still have 10 fixtures remaining to drag themselves out of trouble and they are only two points from safety.
The 24-year-old has been a real standout for Dean Smith’s team this campaign and they could find themselves a long way adrift without him.
He’s an attacking midfielder that has been a talisman for Villa in terms of his contribution, with nine goals and eight assists across all competitions so far this season.
The English playmaker has been a real threat with his dribbling from either a wide or central role and there is a huge demand for him to be given a first senior international cap by Gareth Southgate.
Carragher is extremely impressed by Grealih’s contribution this season for a team fighting relegation and insists that he’s answered any pre-season questions about whether he could be a class act in the Premier League.
“It is rare for a player at a club in the bottom three to make the team of the year, but I have enjoyed watching Grealish as much as anyone this season,” Carragher wrote in the Telegraph.
“When Aston Villa were promoted there were questions asked as to whether Grealish is the real deal. He has answered positively. No player has been fouled more in the Premier League, which tells you rival managers are targeting him. He has still managed to shine with goals and assists.
“I will be staggered if he does not get a chance for England soon. Such talent must be given an opportunity on the international stage. It excites me to think what Grealish will be like with more class players around him.”
Grealish showed glimpses of quality as a rising youngster at Villa when he burst onto the scene, but most of his development in the senior game took place in the Championship.
The playmaker stuck with his boyhood club for three seasons during their time in the second-tier and finally helped them achieve promotion at the third attempt last season.
Villa do have some quality in their ranks with the likes of Tyrone Mings and John McGinn, but £3o,000-a-week (Spotrac) star Grealish is the real driving force in the side that makes them tick and he’s got the intelligence to play at a higher level.