While there were ultimately few positives to take from Aston Villa’s 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Leyton Orient, one widely accepted bright spot for the home fans was the performance of 18-year-old Jack Grealish.
Considered the club’s brightest young prospect, Grealish spent most of last season on loan at Notts County, where is impressive performances played an important role in the side’s dramatic escape from relegation to League Two.
Going on to make his top-flight bow in a brief substitute appearance against Manchester City in May, the highly-rated winger made another step up during pre-season by establishing a place in the first-team squad, before seeing his first significant chunk of action in a claret and blue shirt during the final 20 minutes of the Premier League opener against Stoke.
Handed his first start for Wednesday night’s second-round tie, the result against the League One opposition was certainly a disappointing one for the Villa team, but the academy product himself came away from the 90 minutes having made many people sit up and take notice.
His creative skills and electrifying pace on full display, the Birmingham-born attacker had supporters buzzing about his potential, with Twitter full of those singing his praises and excited for what the future has in store.
Phones been dead all night, can't believe we lost, but still a great night! Jack Grealish, he's a very special player we have in our hands.— James :) (@TheInsaneJamez) August 27, 2014
I think if #AVFC can keep Jack Grealish grounded and focused on his football were gonna have some serious talent on our hands!!— Simon Rock (@Si_Rock1987) August 27, 2014
Never seen an 18 year old as relaxed on the ball as Jack Grealish, he's going to be unreal soon watch— w1ll123 (@w1ll123) August 27, 2014
Jack Grealish certainly looks a prospect for #avfc. Been the brightest spark here by a country mile....— Neil Moxley (@Neil_Moxley) August 27, 2014
Jack Grealish plays with a real style, seems to float with the ball. Given possession away a few times but a rough diamond there. #avfc— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) August 27, 2014
On a positive note, Jack Grealish was by far the best player on the pitch tonight— James Shorthouse (@JamesShorthouse) August 27, 2014
Grealish is unreal. Defo needs to start against Hull— Matt (@Mw98_) August 27, 2014
By the way, how good was Grealish tonight! Proper star in the making! #utv— Andy (@AndyVilla80) August 27, 2014
As a footballer you either have it or you don't; jack grealish definitely has it— Sean Mills (@SeanMills94) August 27, 2014
Bright side is Grealish is incredible— Creed Bratton (@Jon_Gregory1) August 27, 2014
On a positive note Grealish looked sharp once he got into the game. Can turn on a sixpence and has good pace. Just needs to trust himself.— Adam Harkin (@adharkin) August 27, 2014
More positive news in Jack Grealish we have unearthed a talent see if he can do it with cameos in the premier league #avfc— Levi Micah Brown (@LeviMicahBrown) August 27, 2014
Jack Grealish is different class.— Garin Williams (@GarinWilliams) August 27, 2014