Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is the latest in a long list of talented young players to come from the youth academy at the club.
The 19-year-old is yet to start a Premier League encounter this campaign, but he has already played more than 200 minutes of football as a substitute. He has already featured in nine appearances this campaign.
So far, he has been looking highly talented but has all the attributes of an unpolished diamond. Many expect him to become a key figure in Villa’s central midfield in the years to come. Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor says that Grealish reminds him of Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Iniesta is regarded as one of the most talented midfielders in the world. Apart from his abilities like passing and vision, the Spaniard can light up the game with a brilliant piece of skill more often than not. Agbonlahor also came through the youth academy at Villa. While he was primarily known for his pace during the early years, the former England international has developed himself into a target man. This has resulted in a loss of pace, but Agbonlahor has concentrated on being a squad player rather than a central goalscorer. He has only three goals in 23 appearances this campaign.
“Jack is easily one of the best players I’ve seen come through the youth team. He reminds me of Andres Iniesta. He’s a similar player – he’s always ready to receive the ball and good at running with it, too,” said Agbonlahor. The lack of regular game time at Villa right now was expected to result inGrealish moving on a loan deal to Nottingham Forest. However, the club recently parted company with manager Stuart Pearce and the 19-year-old ended up staying at Villa.Grealish signed a new long-term contract with Villa only last year.