Manchester United could have been handed a massive boost in their pursuit of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish ahead of the summer transfer window, if it goes ahead following the Coronavirus pandemic which has taken over the world at this time. Villa legend, Darius Vassell has given the indication that although Grealish is ‘one of our own’ he should not be held back. Speaking to Stadium Astro, Vassell said:
“I always get asked about Jack Grealish’s situation. I want him to stay through supporting Villa – he’s one of our own.
“But he’s so good now, where could he end up if he went to a better team with better players? Is it right to hold him back? If you look at history, you’ve got Gareth Barry and James Milner who left for City. Top quality players went on to bigger and better things.
“So I think it’s a matter of time. He’s so good, how can other teams not be tempted to come in and steal him?
“I don’t like saying it but he’s got to go at some point. Unless Villa get new owners and are buying the best players, go and get the most for your career.
“I don’t think Villa fans would blame him – he’s played his heart out and done brilliantly. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
It has been widely reported that Grealish will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s main target this summer in a bid to continue rebuilding United’s playing squad, which had started to improve severely before football was suspended because of the current pandemic. Some reports suggest that United could pay upto £70 million to land the 24-year-old, which could be more opinion that fact, with the current state to journalism which seems to be on the basis of matching numbers with text to no real structure.
The media also seem to have suggested that Grealish would see United as his first choice should he leave his boyhood club this summer, or beyond. Back in September 2018, when Villa were still in the Championship, Grealish signed a new five-year contract with the club, which would still see him having just over three years remaining on his contract. It has been suggested that the player is earning £50,000 per week, something that could be severely increased if the player signed for a club the size of United.
Grealish could possible treble his wages at United, giving him a much higher platform to play the game he loves and personally, despite Villa fans wanting him to play for the club for his entire career – is that really fair on the player, who clearly wants to achieve something throughout his career. With Villa currently sitting in a relegation battle, and whether the current Premier League season continues to be played out later in the summer, or if it is scrapped completely, it is only a matter of time before Villa find themselves dropping back down to the Championship.
Currently, after playing 28 matches this season, Villa sit in 19th place in the league – four points clear of Norwich City, who are rock bottom and two points behind 18th placed Bournemouth – with both teams playing 29 times this season. This might sound good for Villa as both Watford (17th) and West Ham United (16th) sit two points ahead of Villa, also playing 29 times but that still won’t get them out of a relegation battle that they will face sooner or later. Based on this, despite United dropping over the last seven years, they are on the rise and have not fallen too far of the pecking order.
This season, in the Premier League alone, Grealish has played 26 times, scoring seven goals – assisting a further six. In the Carabao Cup, a tournament that Villa reached the final of this season, Grealish played a further five times, scoring two goals with a further two assists. The 24-year-old predominantly plays as a left-winger but can also play as a left-sided midfielder, a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder and also as a second striker. United have many capable players in the team right now but some are just not good enough and their places in the team will be vacant once the club has sold them.
Grealish could add so much to United. He has the kind of desire that Solskjaer will be seeking from his players, he wants to win and wants to win big. United have always been a club that endeavours to win the big titles but right now, they find themselves in a position that renders them unable to do that – hence the need for a major rebuild, not just of the squad but the club in entirety, including the mentality, which has not been the best since Sir Alex Ferguson retired but has improved under Solskjaer, no matter what his critics suggest.
Could United make Grealish a Red Devils this summer? That is something that we will have to wait and see. Given the current climate which has seen lots of death worldwide and the panic of people trying to steer clear of it all, football might be something that is put on the back burner for a longer period of time. The season was suspended nearly a fortnight ago now and was recently extended until the end of April with suggestions that that season could start again in June. However, nothing is guaranteed. We shall just have to wait and see what happens.