As speculation continues to swirl around Jack Grealish and his future at Aston Villa, it’s hoped that the club can hang on to him for at least one more season.
The Telegraph report that Villa are ‘very hopeful’ that our influential captain will sign a new contract this summer, and in turn snub interest from Man City.
Time will tell whether or not we’re successful in convincing Grealish to stay and to commit his long-term future with another improved deal despite having only signed his previous one last September, but it’s vital that we at least keep him at the club for another season.
Villa progression, European push ahead
From narrowly avoiding relegation in our first season back in the Premier League to finishing 11th in the standings last year, Dean Smith is overseeing steady progress at Villa and the club is undoubtedly moving in the right direction.
With the signing of Emiliano Buendia and the return of Ashley Young, Villa have shown their ambition already this summer and there is certainly more to come in the transfer market as we try to build a squad capable of breaking into the top six.
That same ambition has been on show with our pursuit of Emile Smith Rowe, as per the Athletic, and Villa fans will hope that there are further high-profile additions to be made in the coming weeks to strengthen the squad and make us more competitive.
That in turn is why Villa will hope to keep Grealish for just one more season.
The objective in the upcoming campaign is Europe. Smith has spoken about it on several occasions, the ambition of the owners has been discussed at length and ultimately that is what everyone involved at the club is targeting, sooner rather than later.
By way of our transfer activity so far this summer, it’s evident that they want it to happen this year, and particularly with speculation refusing to go away over Grealish’s future, it has to be if we wish to keep our captain happy and continue to build around him rather than fill the huge void he would leave behind.
It’s entirely understandable that Grealish wants to play at the highest level, his talent and quality warrants that.
In turn, Villa have to match that ambition and give him the platform to do it, and there is genuine belief that we really can put pressure on the top six next season and challenge for a place in Europe.
That said, we need Grealish to be at the forefront of that push and so that’s why it would come as no surprise if he does indeed sign a new deal, stay on for at least one more year and try to lead us into the next phase of our progression as a club.
If we fail, then it’s inevitable that he moves on. If we succeed, well then it will be another big decision for the 25-year-old as to whether he stays and tries to kick us on to the next level, that being the Champions League, or if that is in fact as far as we can go together and the time is then right for him to move on elsewhere.
Exit talk is always a concern, such is the desire to see Grealish stay. Nevertheless, with reports suggesting that Villa are hopeful that we can convince our talismanic playmaker to sign a new contract and prolong his stay at the club, it’s hoped that the European Championship this summer is just the start of him becoming a global star and still being referred to as the Aston Villa captain for many more years.