Jack Grealish put pen to paper at Aston Villa on a new five-year deal but both Chris Sutton and Rio Ferdinand have suggested that the Villa skipper would have left had clubs looked to sign him earlier this summer.
Grealish, 25, was sensational for Villa last season – having a hand in 18 goals during his 41 league and cup appearances and even earning an England cap. He scored the goal that secured Villa’s safety in the Premier League for another season.
The playmaker has signed a contract worth an enormous 125,000 a week at Villa, according to the Telegraph. But it could have been very different, with Grealish being strongly linked with Manchester United and other Premier League sides.
Responding on Twitter to the news that Grealish had put pen to paper, former Villa striker Sutton claimed that he only signed a new deal because no club came in for him – while Ferdinand claimed that if United tried to sign Grealish, he would have gone.
Excellent player but he only signed a new deal because the big boys didn’t want him… https://t.co/oGKWY9kSpW
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) September 15, 2020
United were never in for him tho…. otherwise I’m sure he would of gone #Simples
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) September 15, 2020
BGA’s view – So, would Grealish have left Villa for United?
Now 25 years of age, Grealish is showing the kind of quality expected of a player competing in either the Europa League or the Champions League. Certainly, he boasts enough ability to be turning out for a player competing for the top four.
Yes, he stays at Villa and has the freedom of doing what he likes on the pitch, with the captain’s armband – and is loved by supporters. A move to the likes of United would see him go from the best player, to just another attacker.
But the chance to compete in Europe and at the top end of the Premier League would have prove hugely tantalising for any player – and he could have been given more money than Villa are now paying him. Would he have gone? Probably.
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