Stephen Kelly was on OTB AM on Thursday discussing Jack Grealish and his potential to be a great player.
Kelly was asked if Spurs missing out on signing Grealish last summer was a mistake.
“Well it’s not going to happen now and I think - I was with Villa for a season, not last year but the year before, training with them and Jack first hand and he is a talent. He is an absolute talent. He just goes past players, he’s strong, he’s physical, his attitude has changed.”
Steve Bruce being brought in to manage Villa was a big part of Grealish maturing in Kelly’s eyes.
“When Steve Bruce came in, he kind of put the gauntlet down for him and kind of made him turn into a man, more of a professional than what he had been. He was young, he had been a bit naive.”
Dean Smith also made a wise decision in making the young player captain, as Kelly believes it sped up his development.
“Dean Smith giving him the armband, I think, was a stroke of genius. He just put more responsibility on his shoulders. Every game in the Championship, he’s probably been their best player. I think he can do it in the Premiership as well.
While many teams will be looking for Grealish, Kelly is confident that he’ll be happy to stay at Villa now that they’re in the Premier League.
“He’s such a die-hard Villa fan he’s going to want to play for them in the Premiership.”
Grealish performed well in the Championship but if he can carry his form over to the Premier League, Kelly is convinced that there won’t be many teams that wouldn’t take him
“If he can do what he’s done in the Championship, in the Premiership, everybody will be talking about him. You won't just be talking about English teams, there’ll be teams all over Europe that will want to sign Grealish.”
Kelly was full of praise for Grealish. He believes he is a quality player with very few flaws and even at that, he can get past them.
“He finds the space in the pocket, he doesn’t look that quick but he goes past players like they’re not there, he’s physically strong and he has vision.”
“The only thing Jack doesn’t have is that he doesn’t get enough goals from his position. That’s something he’ll have to improve on to take it to the next level. I’m sure he’s capable of it.”