As the wait goes on for clarity over Jack Grealish’s future at Aston Villa, our club captain faces a difficult decision over which path his career will take next.
Speculation is seemingly never-ending and rather tiresome at this stage, with new reports emerging daily on which way the 25-year-old is leaning amid reported interested from Manchester City.
What is certain at this stage, is that no decision has been made and no statement has been released from him regarding his future and where he will be plying his trade this season.
Naturally, from a Villa perspective, we’re desperate to see him stay and continue to lead us forward. It’s hoped that is ultimately the outcome of the situation this summer, but time will tell if it comes to fruition.
It’s a fortunate but difficult position to be in for Grealish, as the two time branches of his future look very different depending on the decision he makes in the coming weeks.
Titles and success at City, but leading Villa to elite status more meaningful
Given the current standing of City, the strength of their squad, their world-class manager and the deep pockets of their ownership who continue to improve the club on and off the field, the probability is that Grealish will enjoy plenty of success at the Etihad, if he were to choose that option.
Villa have gone from the brink of administration and mid-table Championship mediocrity to aiming to break into Europe in the space of three years, with ambitious owners of our own and Grealish leading the charge as captain.
The obvious choice for many footballers is to chase the success, to win trophies and look back at your career titles as a barometer of where you stood as a player and how you were regarded by supporters.
Further, the opportunity to work alongside a manager of Pep Guardiola’s class, to train alongside world-class individuals such as Kevin De Bruyne and win all there is to win in the game, that is a lot to turn down.
However, for Grealish, this is very different. Stay at Villa and lead the club to an elite level and hopefully win silverware along the way will mean much more to him when he hangs his boots up and looks back at a memorable stint at his boyhood club that saw him forever cemented as a legend at B6.
In fairness, he is already on the verge of that given what he’s done for Villa in a relatively short space of time, and many fans will give him their blessing if he decides to make the switch and go in search of winning trophies.
Nevertheless, it isn’t an unknown scenario in which a player chooses to stay with their club and reject the advances of the top sides in order to experience more meaningful moments and landmark achievements in their career.
Villa are moving in the right direction, the club is putting the infrastructure in place to become an elite-level outfit on and off the pitch and will continue to strengthen the squad this summer to ensure we continue to become more competitive year on year.
While he may well need some convincing and a new contract to seal the deal, Grealish surely appreciates that sentimental side of it and as he said himself last year when he signed a five-year agreement: “It is my club, my home and I am very happy here.”
Grealish will already be remembered fondly by the Villa faithful, but there is surely unfinished business as far as he’s concerned and there is everything in place to ensure that our biggest talent in decades is in a position to achieve his ambitions and take the club to where we want to be.
It starts with one more season and breaking into Europe, and then who knows what will follow. If Villa fall short, perhaps then it will be time to part ways. However, if we don’t, it could arguably make Grealish even more convinced that staying was the right choice as we continue to progress to a level that makes it a no-brainer for him to continue with us.