Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is confident that captain Jack Grealish will ignore speculation linking him with a move away from the club, insisting the midfielder is ‘Villa through and through’.
Grealish has enjoyed an impressive start to the season since helping Aston Villa to promotion from the Championship last term, his performances seeing him linked with a place in the England squad and a move away from Villa Park.
Manchester United are amongst the clubs to have reportedly shown an interest in the 24-year-old, speculation that further intensified following Grealish’s stand-out performance in the draw between the sides at Old Trafford last weekend.
Following the clash United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was full of praise for the midfielder’s performance, though Smith was unsurprised by the Norwegian’s comments given Grealish’s star showing.
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“I’d say it if I saw an opposition player running game!” Smith said. “And for 30 minutes [at Old Trafford], he was!”
Despite the speculation surrounding Grealish and the possibility of a move to one of the division’s leading sides, Smith remains confident in his captain’s desire to stay at the club, saying the playmaker’s boyhood links to Villa will make him difficult to tempt away.
“I’ve seen speculation in the press with pundits linking him with other clubs, what they don’t realise, I’ve worked with this kid for 14 months, he tells the story himself of jumping into a bush in the garden at six years old pretending it was the Holte End,” he said.
“He’s Villa through and through, he’s now performing on the biggest stage he can in the Premier League for Aston Villa. He’s playing well, scoring goals, creating assists and it’s a club he loves.
“He signed a new deal at the start of last season, we’ve got two very wealthy owners who want to build the team around Jack.
“They can keep linking him, but this is the one club he loves and that’s probably the most important thing.”