Jack Grealish has been on a journey.
He probably wouldn’t trade a moment of it.
[ RECAP: Villa 2-1 Derby ]
The Aston Villa playmaker has been with his club since he was six, and that includes the side’s first ever relegation from the Premier League.
Transfer rumors have abounded since that time, but the 23-year-old held firm through three seasons in the second tier.
Now, following a 2-1 defeat of Derby County in the Championship Playoff Final, Villa is back in the top flight. From the BBC:
“I’m speechless. It was such a hard game, but when I look around and I’ve got John, Anwar, I believe. It means the world to go up, we know where this club belongs. I’ve stayed here and we’re back there now. I’ve led my boyhood team to the Premier League.”
Villa started firing on all cylinders under manager Dean Smith, who took the reins in October. The Villans sat 14th, but rose all the way to fifth.
“It feels very good,” Smith said. “To be honest, the lads are a terrific bunch. They take on different ideas, they deserve it. I believe pressure is what you put on yourself, we work hard every day, the only difference is expectation. We’ve got two owners have got a lot of money, and are in it for the long haul. The potential now is massive.”