Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has picked out Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish for his qualities, as he prepares his side to come up against him.
Spurs travel to Villa on Sunday afternoon for a Premier League fixture and would love a repeat of their 3-1 win over them on the opening day of the season.
The North London club know a victory on Sunday will lift them to fifth in the table just a point behind Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Monday night.
Spurs have picked up seven points from their last three league games to pick up some momentum and will be favourites to exited that over the weekend.
But Villa talisman Grealish has been one of the standout individuals in the top-flight this season and is a player in their fight against relegation.
The attacking midfielder has scored nine goals and supplied seven assists in 27 games across all competitions this season.
Mourinho has been discussing the influence of Grealish ahead of the weekend meeting with him and is wary of his threat.
“Very important player for them. Very important. They have their way of playing. Maybe they change against us but the normal Villa is with this back five, the midfield players and then Grealish is a player with creative freedom, with an area of action that’s very important of course,” Mourinho said, as quoted by Football.London.
“Very talented, can score a goal, can make an assist, incredible connection with the fans. So easy to feel immediately that he’s one of them. He’s capable of making the crowd chase the team. A very important player for them for sure.”
It’s no secret that teams can go a long way to stopping Villa this season if they keep their captain Grealish quiet, which is a difficult task.
The 24-year-old is really maturing into a top talent this season and surely a senior call-up to the England squad is just on the horizon, as there is immense pressure on manager Gareth Southgate.
Spurs have had some issues at the back this season that makes them vulnerable, but they have more than enough attacking firepower to cause a threat going the other way.