As the endless speculation over Jack Grealish’s future at Aston Villa continues, fans can be relatively confident he won’t be leaving this summer.
Naturally, anything can happen in football and things change quickly on the transfer market at times, so ultimately we simply can’t be 100 percent certain that Grealish won’t leave in the coming months.
That said, there is a very strong argument in favour of him going nowhere this year, and that should give us confidence that he will be wearing the captain’s armband and leading us out against Watford on August 14.
Villa don’t need to sell
In comparison to where Villa were just a couple of years ago, the financial health of the club is strong and we’re in safe hands with owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris.
With the investment in the infrastructure at the club as well as the playing squad, underlined by the record fee spent to sign Emiliano Buendia this summer, the ambition of the ownership is clear and we’re moving in the right direction.
That said, we also don’t need to sell Grealish to raise funds and balance the books as we might have been tempted to do not long ago, and so that is now a major factor in keeping him.
Plan to crack top six revolves around Grealish leading charge
The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to just how influential Grealish is for Villa. Despite missing a large part of last season due to injury, he still contributed seven goals and 12 assists in 27 appearances.
That was his second-highest goals tally for Villa in a single season and his highest assists tally.
If we’re to break into the top six and qualify for Europe, it comes through Grealish leading our charge. That is why the hierarchy will have no desire to sell him this summer and ultimately why he’ll likely have a hefty price-tag to deter any interest.
📊 Jack Grealish's 2020/21 season in numbers.
Despite making his joint-lowest number of appearances  in a season in all comps since 2015/16, he registered his second-highest goals tally in a single-season  and his highest assists tally .
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) June 23, 2021
Progression key to match his ambition
What is clear though is that Villa need to match Grealish’s ambitions moving forward if we’re to have any chance of convincing him to stay for the long term.
Having gained promotion, secured safety in our first season back in the Premier League and built on that with an 11th place finish last year, we’re clearly moving in the right direction.
This though, is the biggest and perhaps most important leap. Villa must be knocking on the door and perhaps even have to seal European qualification next season to give Grealish the platform and stage to want to stay.
One more year
Building on the point above, it seems a bizarre time for Grealish to walk away from his boyhood club given we believe we’re on the cusp of breaking into Europe.
Should Villa fall short this coming season, an exit would make sense next summer and he’d arguably leave with the blessing of the majority of supporters.
In turn, it sets up a very important campaign for Dean Smith, the players and the club, as it could ultimately shape our future for years to come.
Grealish loves the Villa
Beyond all the objectives and money though, it shouldn’t be forgotten just how much Grealish loves his club.
He’ll have ambition and desire to win trophies, earn higher wages and perhaps experience a different lifestyle elsewhere, but the pull of playing for his club isn’t lost on him.
It’s incredibly rare now for players to spend their whole careers at one club, especially if they’re not performing at the top level and need to move on to achieve their dreams. That said, if Villa can tick all the other boxes above, Grealish’s desire to lead us to trophies and success could yet play a major part and that is why this summer comes too early for an exit as we’re showing the right signs we can get to where we want to be.
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) September 15, 2020