Jack Grealish has signed a new long-term contract with Aston Villa.
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It seems that his wonderfully gelled hairdo will be in the Championship for a little longer.
The English playmaker, 23, was chased by Tottenham Hotspur all summer long but Grealish has signed a new five-year deal with his boyhood club as he looks to guide them back to the Premier League.
Or, you know, the new deal may have a buyout clause in it which guarantees Villa at least $45 million when Spurs come back in for England hopeful Grealish in January. Just saying.
Either way, this is a big boost for Villa after a shaky start to the 2018-19 campaign in England’s second tier.
“Securing the long-term future of Jack, a player we believe will play a pivotal role in leading Aston Villa back to where it belongs, is fantastic news for everybody associated with our football club,” Christian Purslow, Aston Villa’s CEO, said. “He is a tremendous talent who has been with us since he was a child and naturally we are delighted that he has now committed the next five years of his career to Aston Villa.”
Villa lost in the Championship playoff final last season to Fulham as Steve Bruce‘s side came agonizingly close to ending their hiatus from the Premier League, and over the summer it was doubtful Bruce would stay on amid financial turmoil at the club.
Bruce did remain as manager, and Grealish (he’s been at Villa since the age of eight) wasn’t sold to Tottenham as new Egyptian owners arrived and rejected Spurs’ reported $32 million offer.
With Villa just five points behind league leaders Leeds United early in this campaign, there is plenty of time for the former European champions to surge up the standings and challenge to get back the Premier League.
Grealish will be key to Villa doing that but it appears likely that if they aren’t promoted this season he will move on from his hometown club with a host of top teams circling for his signature. At the age of 23, it would be the right time for him to test himself week in, week out in the Premier League.
There’s no doubt that Grealish, who burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2015, is set for a big future with the English national team as many believe he is the midfield playmaker Gareth Southgate has been missing in recent years. The way Grealish carries the ball and passes it has been likened to Jack Wilshere and he has a slightly more attacking edge to his game.
Grealish’s development at Villa has seen him mature and perhaps become the best player in England outside of the Premier League. Now it is time for him to either drag Villa back to the top-flight or head there himself in January 2019 or next summer.