John Giles believes that Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is capable of playing on any Premier League team
Graeme Souness criticised Jack Grealish for not reacting quickly enough to the game which has resulted in him being the most fouled player in the Premier League this season.
“Being the most fouled player in the Premier League means I am holding onto the ball too long. You’re not seeing the picture quickly enough,” Souness said after Villa’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.
Giles joined Off The Ball and defended the Villa captain, stating it was the lack of quality players around Grealish which was resulting in him holding on to the ball too much and being fouled.
“I normally agree with Graeme, but I wouldn’t agree with him the there. My take on it is when you’re playing on a team, that’s not so good like Grealish is, you do have to hang onto the ball longer than if you were playing for Manchester United or Manchester City.
“You’re only as good as the players you play with, if you’re a very good player, you’ll play well in any team but the better the players you play with they make it easy for you.
“If Grealish was playing in the Manchester City team, he wouldn’t have to hold onto the ball as long, therefore he wouldn’t be getting as many fouls. So, it depends what way you look at it, but I just think Graeme was a bit harsh on him.”
The former Republic of Ireland manager notes the qualities Grealish has, citing that he would be able to handle himself in any top-flight Premier League team.
“I think Grealish can play and I think he is limited in what he can do with the Villa team, but he makes the most on what he can do.
“If you put him in the Manchester United team, or the Liverpool team, or the Manchester City team, I think he has the quality to live with those players and really play well.”
Giles states that Grealish would fit nicely into a Manchester United midfield of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. While he claims Grealish can do work they cannot do, he does not want to see him limited to an old styled defensive midfielder.
“Pogba and Fernandes can’t do what Grealish can do.
“I don’t believe there is a midfield born that can protect the back four. The best way to protect the back four is having the ball and giving the ball to people.
“Now what we had over the years were designated players to screen the back four. I mean, Jesus Christ couldn’t protect the back four.
“I don’t think Pogba is a central midfield player, I don’t think Fernandes is a central midfield player. I think Fernandes is a midfield player at all. He’s a very good goalscoring midfield player. He’s not going to knit it together.
“Grealish can do things in the middle of the field that Pogba and Fernandes are not capable of doing.”