Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that contrary to popular belief, he reckons Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish could remain with the Midlands side this summer – despite it being almost nailed on that Grealish would leave.
Grealish, 24, had a hand in 18 goals during his 41 league and cup appearances this season – scoring eight times and laying on six assists in his 36 Premier League outings. He is expected to be handed his first England cap soon.
Villa pulled off a late escape from relegation with four points from their last two games, beating Arsenal and drawing with West Ham away from home. It saw Grealish post a heartfelt message to fans on Instagram after the match.
He underlined his delight at keeping “my club” above the drop, and many reckon that he is hinting at potentially staying. Amid plenty of reports he could leave, Merson reckons Grealish could stay with Dean Smith’s side.
“I’m not sure, I think he might still be there,” Merson said. “This club suits him, he can play how he wants. He’s the big fish in the little pond, it’s enjoyable for him. You go to Man United, you don’t play every week.
“You can’t play the way he does at Villa. Le Tiss stayed [at Southampton] and look at the career he had. His agent will be saying lets move on, but it’s not all about the money. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is still playing for Villa.”
TBR’s view – Merson has a point, Grealish could stay
Indeed, Merson is bang on in that if Grealish does join a top-six Premier League side, he would be unable to play the way he plays at Villa – which obviously brings the best out of the playmaker.
Plenty of the ball, freedom to roam and anything in the final third goes through him – nine times out of 10. So, could that be enough to convince him at Villa Park? It might well do, given Villa are still in the Premier League.