As Sky Sports say that a deal is close between Tottenham and Aston Villa, Mauricio Pochettino will already be planning where young starlet Jack Grealish could fit into his squad.
It’s likely that Grealish will become the club’s first addition of the summer transfer window with fans growing impatient for signings and will be expecting an immediate impact from him.
The 22-year-old is expected to cost the London club between £30 million and £40 million, yet many remain unconvinced at just how much game time he may get at White Hart Lane.
“I do think he has the ability to progress and play at that level. Is he ready right now for the Spurs first team? I would suggest no. I don’t think so, I don’t see him being a regular in that side at this moment in time.”
Ally McCoist made his feelings clear.
However, Pochettino may have several thoughts in mind when looking to select where to play his newest squad member…
On the wing
Many automatically think of Grealish as a wide player bombing down the wing and looking to cut inside purely based on memories of his time in the Premier League before the Villans were relegated in 2016.
His pace could be a major threat and bares similarities with the roles of the likes of Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son when fielded on the flanks, particularly with the former increasingly injury prone and the latter likely to be on international duty with South Korea early on in the season.
A good dribbler, Grealish may be forced to adapt to spend more time on the right, as opposed to his usual place on the left, given the preferences of his team-mates though.
As a central attacking midfielder
Over the past two seasons, Grealish has made the number ten role his own at Villa Park and has got results too. With more goals and assists than in any other position, it’s easy to see why.
With 10 goals and 15 assists in 82 appearances in such a role, Grealish relishes the freedom of the role and can often be caught wandering around exploiting gaps in between opposition midfields and defences.
Given that he will have Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen for competition, it may be harder to force himself into the team in such a role, but he could provide an exciting option for rotation and will certainly be given opportunities.
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
An alternative to Harry Kane
Perhaps the least likely of the trio, primarily given that his finishing is not one of his strongest points, Grealish could provide an option as a centre forward at White Hart Lane.
Back-up for Kane has been hard to come by and Grealish’s pace and movement would provide a very different option to Fernando Llorente, which could appeal as a makeshift solution to the coach.
Pochettino is an expert when it comes to getting the most out of players and if he feels he could adapt the midfielder into a more advanced role, no-one else will have a better crack at it than he might.