Jack Grealish

Premier League Social Media wrap
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Premier League social media wrap: Stars look back at glory

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Jack Grealish was among many Premier League stars putting their own spin on the “On This Day” phenomenon.

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The playmaker ran out onto the pitch as a first team Aston Villa player six years ago today in a 4-0 loss to Manchester City.

The appearance came after a full season’s loan at Notts County. He only played two minutes, but he’ll clearly not forget it any time soon.

Sheffield United was celebrating a terrific memory, too.

The Blades won Premier League promotion last season, and May 7 was their parade through the city.

Manager Chris Wilder was enjoying himself as much as anyone, as retweeted by Billy Sharp.

Leicester City stars were also looking back at the May 7 that saw them lift the unlikeliest trophy in Premier League history.

We’ll choose Jeffrey Schlupp’s joyful photo with his teammates and former boss Claudio Ranieri.

The ePremier League Invitational is back for a second go-round.

James Maddison’s FIFA exploits have moved to a more official channel after his humiliation of Hamza Choudhury via bet earlier this week.

This time, it was love for his teammates in a positive way as he celebrated along with eAyoze Perez during a defeat of Crystal Palace’s Max Meyer.

 

Jimenez on Real Madrid, Barcelona; Grealish to Man United

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Wolves and Mexico striker Raul Jimenez has discussed reports linking him with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Jimenez, 28, has had another superb season in the Premier League, scoring 22 goals in 44 games in all competitions and although he remains committed to the project at Molineux he admitted the lure of the La Liga giants could be too much.

“If an offer comes from Real Madrid or Barcelona, it is obvious that you do not miss such an opportunity, but I want to stay and fight to qualify for the Champions League and for important things,” Jimenez told ESPN. “I find out through social media that they have already put me at Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal… Every day a new team comes out. You have to be calm.”

Jimenez is a relative late bloomer in his career after spells at Benfica and Atletico Madrid in Europe and although he is adored by the Wolves faithful, could they really bemoan him for joining Real or Barcelona?

On the face of it, Jimenez would be a very good focal point for the Real Madrid attack and would replace Karim Benzema as the central striker with Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Vincius Jr. buzzing around him.

Rounding up some of the other transfer news from around the Premier League, a report from the Manchester Evening News claims that Man United have now prioritized signing Jack Grealish over James Maddison.

Per the report Maddison has admitted he will not be leaving Leicester City in the next 12 months and Man United feel that Grealish will be easier to sign due to Villa’s perilous position in the Premier League relegation zone.

Grealish, 24, has three years left on his contract at Villa and it seems like now may be the right time for the boyhood Aston Villa fan to move on. The playmaker has undoubted talent on the ball and can operate out wide or centrally and Man United do have the need for a different type of wide player.

There’s no doubting that Grealish still has to improve his attitude off the pitch though, as his recent punishment for breaking the UK’s lockdown orders during the coronavirus pandemic proves.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Gotze to Everton, Grealish to Man United

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You think the Jack Grealish incident this past week would stop Manchester United from pursuing the Aston Villa playmaker? Think again.

According to Paul Joyce of The Times, Grealish “is expected to arrive [at Manchester United] from Aston Villa to add competition to the midfield.”

While the Grealish to Manchester United rumors are nothing new, it is notable that they still persist even in the aftermath of his embarrassing decision to leave his house during the coronavirus lockdown. Manchester United could be on the hook for nearly $100 million should they pursue Grealish this summer, and they will want to know their investment won’t be put at risk in situations like this again.

Still, Grealish has had a fantastic season before the shutdown and Manchester United could use a central playmaker to pull the strings. While Joyce’s writeup seems to suggest that Grealish would have work to do to earn a place in the Manchester United team, he would likely find himself as the only true attacking midfielder outside of fellow new signing Bruno Fernandes in the entire squad. The position has little depth at Old Trafford and Grealish is certainly a much-needed investment.

Everton is also searching for playmaking ability as well as a goalscoring mindset, and Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Gotze could be the answer. According to German publication Sport Bild, Gotze could be headed to Everton this summer, although they will have competition for the former World Cup winner.

The 27-year-old sees his contract expire this summer at Dortmund, and he has seen decreased playing time this season thanks to the explosion of Jadon Sancho plus the arrival of Erling Haaland and the improvement of both Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. Gotze has found himself the odd man out in that attacking group, and Everton could snag him on a free transfer this summer. The Sport Bild report names West Ham, Borussia Monchengladbach, and AC Milan as other possibilities, but suggests that Gotze would need to take a pay cut from his current $11 million a year salary to open up the list a bit.

Finally, Tottenham could usher one of its young players out the door as Juan Foyth has voiced his frustrations with a lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho. The 22-year-old, who arrived from Argentine club Estudiantes in 2017, told Argentinian publication TNT that he would like to leave London if he did not see an increase in playing time.

“If I am going to have opportunities here, I will be very comfortable,” Foyth said of his current situation at Spurs. “And if they won’t count on me, the best thing will be to find another club. I would like to stay in Europe, all leagues have a high level. My wish is to play at the highest level as long as I can. The main thing is to play.”

Foyth has seen just 65 minutes of Premier League action this entire season and has not been included in the matchday squad for any league game since the start of January. Foyth’s time has taken an even bigger hit thanks to the emergence of young Japhen Tanganga, lowering the already limited amount of squad space that Foyth had between center-back and right-back.

Grealish apologizes for breaking lockdown rules, alleged car crash

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Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has issued a public apology after he was spotted away from his home at a friends house and reports stated he was  involved in a car crash in Birmingham as police were called to the scene.

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Grealish, 24, posted a video on his Twitter account to apologize for his actions as the UK is currently on a nation-wide lockdown, with people only being allowed out of their home to buy essential items, travel to work (if necessary) and for one piece of exercise per day.

The car of the star midfielder allegedly hit several parked cars outside an apartment owned by his ex-Aston Villa teammate Ross McCormack, as locals said Grealish, former player Tony Capaldi and others had attended a party on Saturday evening at the house and then left the scene on Sunday when a security guard arrived.

“I wanted to say how deeply embarrassed I am at what happened this weekend,” Grealish said. “I know it is a tough time for everybody at the moment, being locked indoors for so long. I obviously got a call off a friend asking to go around to his and I stupidly agreed to do so. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake that I did. I urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and guidelines of what we’ve been asked to do. I know for a fact I will be doing that in the near future now. I hope everyone can accept my apology and we can move on from this.”

Aston Villa have also released a statement on the situation, as they said they will discipline and fine Grealish for his actions.

“Aston Villa is deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the Coronavirus crisis. Club Captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary. It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody. The player will be disciplined and fined with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.”

West Midlands Police released the following statement: “We were called to Waterside, Dickens Heath, just before 10am yesterday (March 29) to reports that a Range Rover had crashed into two parked cars in the street. The driver left his details with a member of the public at the scene before leaving on foot. Arrangements have now been made to obtain more details around the circumstances of the collision from the driver. Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch, via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk quoting log 643 of March 29.”

Grealish has a history of being in the headlines for the wrong reasons but in recent years he seemed to have settled down and matured as he became Aston Villa’s captain and led his boyhood club to promotion back to the Premier League, where he has been sensational for them this season.

Many questions have been raised as to why Grealish has never sealed a move away from Villa to one of the Premier League big boys and why he hasn’t played for the England national team. Incidents like this prove why there are question marks about his temperament and attitude and it would be a shock if the Villa captaincy wasn’t taken away from him.

Being involved in this kind of incident during the first week that Premier League players had been advised to stay away from training grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic is a terrible look for Grealish, especially as the UK government and police urge people to stay indoors and away from public gatherings to safeguard the NHS and vulnerable people.

Grealish posted a message on social media late last week urging people to stay home and to listen to government advice.

Spurs prevail late in 5-goal thriller at Aston Villa

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Heung-Min Son completed his brace deep in stoppage time gave Tottenham Hotspur a 3-2 win over Pepe Reina and defiant Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

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Pepe Reina made six saves for Villa, who got goals from Bjorn Engels and a Toby Alderweireld own goal but couldn’t find a point and sit a point clear of the bottom three.

Alderweireld also scored his first Spurs goal in three years, as Spurs move into fifth place with 40 points. That’s one back of Chelsea, which plays Monday.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to win ]


Three things we learned

1. Alderweireld, Engels find redemption: It seems like this happens more often than it should, and it happened twice Sunday when defenders cost their team goals and then made amends in their non-traditional third. First Alderweireld knocked in a Villa cross after a miscommunication with Hugo Lloris, only to rocket an equalizer home. Then Bjorn Engels conceded a penalty to Spurs before nodding a header home.

Just like match days when goals are either universally hard to find or going in all over Europe, this game has a way of showing its sense of humor.

2. Bergwijn, Davies light up the left: Aston Villa’s right side of the defense was troubled by a pair of “new” faces: Ben Davies returned at left back from a long injury lay-off and Stever Bergwijn is proving to be a wonderful January transfer.

3. Reina has a day to defy the score line.: Tottenham had four or five late chances to take all three points, but got it down with their final bid after an Engels giveaway. The ex-Barcelona and Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina make six saves on the day, and was loud in organizing the backline. Most of the time, Reina bailed them out when they failed to heed his notes.

Man of the Match: Grealish was very good, drawing a half-dozen fouls and producing plenty of danger, but it’s was between Reina and Bergwijn before Son’s heroics. Of course it’s the South Korean.


The first half-dozen minutes were rough-and-tumble, with physical and cynical fouls for both sides.

Villa claimed the lead in the ninth-minute when Pepe Reina sprung Anwar El Ghazi with a long pass and Alderweireld couldn’t deal with the Dutchman’s cross.

Dele Alli had a promising bid to level the score blocked within minutes, but Villa was also pressing for a second. Douglas Luiz came close to making it 2-0 in the 19th minute, but Ben Davies got a bit of it to concede a corner instead.

Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn led a rush down the right. The latter crossed beautifully for Dele Alli, whose flying header went wide of the far post.

Spurs midfielder Eric Dier bailed out his backline when Grealish thought he had Mbwana Samatta cued up for a point-blank shot.

Alderweireld scored a beauty off a 27th-minute corner, wheeling to lash a shot over Pepe Reina.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Dele beat the defense but stung a shot wide of the far post near the 35th minute, and Hugo Lloris made a fine parry on El Ghazi minutes later.

Ben Davies had a fantastic first half in his first start in 2.5 months after an ankle injury, working a 1-2 en route to a double block from the Villa backline before half.

VAR gave Spurs the chance to go ahead in first-half stoppage when Bjorn Engels cut down Bergwijn in the box. Reina’s saved Son’s silly spot kick, but the South Korean bundled the rebound with an outside-of-the-boot jab.

Lloris made a fine save in the 52nd minute, but the Spurs keeper saw the ball in his goal when Engels joined Alderweireld in redemption, nodding Grealish’s corner home.

Reina stopped a low drive from Bergwijn off a bad Villa giveaway, and Bergwijn had a 70th-minute shot deflected out for a corner. Reina then stopped Dele’s break in the 74th, and a Son drive 11 minutes later.

Then he stopped Son on the ensuing corner, but the South Korean was not to be denied on the day and grabbed his second goal at the very death.