Former Aston Villa right-back Alan Hutton has suggested that the £80 million price tag for Jack Grealish is ‘worth every penny‘. The 24-year-old has been linked to Manchester United for some time now with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly intent on signing the player, at least according to the reports.
The financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic will raise doubts as to whether United could spend this amount of money on Grealish and sign Jadon Sancho this summer, unless departures will help pave the way to both players? Vill are intent on keeping their price, even if the club are relegated this season, which seems likely at the moment.
Villa sit in 19th place in the Premier League table, two points from safety but with a game in hand over Bournemouth (18th), Watford (17th) and West Ham United (16th) although their goal difference is worse than the trio of clubs, meaning they would need to find a way of scoring more goals, to make it a bit more even.
Hutton, a club hero who retired in February 2019, backed the 24-year-old to live up to the expectations of his price tag when he finally makes the move away from Villa Park. Hutton, 35, spoke to the Football Insider, which was reported in The Sun newspaper, talking about Grealish, his price tag and what he thinks of the player, saying:
“Obviously it’s a massive price tag, but in my opinion, he’s worth every penny, he’s that good.
“He could be a team’s game-changer, and that’s no disrespect to anyone at Aston Villa, you know I love them to bits, but for him to be playing with a top-four team, I think he’d be outstanding.
“Everybody would be buzzing off him, they would see his quality, and I think he would only grow in stature, so I totally understand the price tag.
“Whether what’s happened is going to affect it, I’m not too sure because it’s going to happen to every club.”
Despite playing for his boyhood club, and captaining it, the 24-year-old has previously hinted at his desire to play for the Old Trafford club. His current contract, which was signed in September 2018, would expire in the summer of 2023, meaning Villa hold the cards in the future of the player and any fee they would accept in any transfer opportunity.
However, if the club does end up being relegated this season, which could resume in a few weeks time, it may give the player a bit more power as to whether he wants to fall back down to the Championship to set out to do the same thing the club did last season, winning the Championship play-off to win promotion, especially when United retain an interest in him.
This could help Solskjaer in his approach to sign the player, who is yet to be capped for England despite only being capped at U21 level and playing for the Republic of Ireland at various youth levels. It was expected that eh would have been part of the England squad for the UEFA European Championships this summer, which will now take place next summer.
This season, Grealish has made a total of 31 appearances for Villa this season, playing in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, of which the club made it to the final only to be beaten 2-1 by Manchester City. The 24-year-old has scored nine goals and eight assists, playing 2,650 minutes of football already – awaiting to get back on that pitch to finish the season.