The Aston Villa playmaker has become one of the most sought-after talents in the Premier League but he is focused on the present and England ambitions
The Aston Villa playmaker has emerged as one of the most sought-after talents in the Premier League.
Having taken on the role of club captain and talisman at Villa Park, Grealish is trying to carry Dean Smith’s side towards top-flight survival.
He is taking on that challenge against a backdrop of intense speculation regarding his future.
A big-money move is considered to be a matter of time, with leading lights across England ready to buy into the current ability and future potential of a creative 24-year-old.
Grealish is aware of the buzz he has created, but that is nothing new to a man who has been tipped for big things since bursting onto the scene as a teenager.
He told the Express and Star: “Of course it’s nice.
“Who doesn’t like to be talked about in a nice way? But, to be honest, I try and take everything with a pinch of salt.
“I had it all five years ago when I broke through and I was getting talked about a lot. I was 19 years old, going online reading about myself and I couldn’t believe it. I was in the papers all the time and they were asking: ‘Is this the new big thing?’
“Then just one thing goes wrong and it all comes down on you like a ton of bricks. It is nice to read and nice to listen to, but I don’t let it get to me too much, because I know how quickly it can change.”
While interest is expected to be ramped up in Grealish over the summer, his focus remains locked on doing his best for Villa and putting himself in contention for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020.
“I can’t help but think of playing for England because that is what I want to do,” he added.
“I hope I have done enough but I also think I can perform better and that is the God’s honest truth.
“People on the outside might say I am doing well, but I know for a fact I can do better and score more goals and get more assists.”
Grealish added on the challenge he faces to earn senior international recognition: “What will be hard at the moment is with the position I am playing in at the moment, people would probably say I am playing as a winger.
“If you look at England’s wingers, I doubt I would have much of a chance of starting in front of [Raheem] Sterling, [Jadon] Sancho and [Marcus] Rashford, who are all unbelievable players!
“I’ve always said my favourite position would be playing in midfield. That is where I would love to play for England.
“It is where I would want to play for Villa, but it just so happens at the moment I am playing well in the position I am in and it is better for the team.
“If I was fortunate enough to get a call-up, the position I would want to play is in midfield.”