Aston Villa forward Andreas Weimann believes the club’s teenage sensation Jack Grealish has all the right attributes to become a leading Premier League star.
Considered Villa’s brightest prospect, Grealish, 18, has made his first-team breakthrough at the start of this season, featuring in three of the team’s four fixtures, after scoring five goals in 39 appearances on loan at League One side Notts County during the 2013-14 campaign.
With his impressive outings this term seeing fans call for him to earn his first Premier League start, big things are expected for the slight winger at Villa Park and, having witnessed his skills up close and personal, Weimann can understand the excitement.
‘I think he’s a really good footballer,’ he told the Birmingham Mail. ‘In pre-season he has been heavily involved with us and he has done really well.
‘He came on against Stoke and Hull and didn’t look out of place at all. I think he played well against Leyton Orient too, even though we lost. He has definitely got a future here.’
Coming on for the final 15 minutes of last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Hull, Grealish was on the end of some rough treatment from the opposition, but Weimann insists he is more than capable of holding his own in the top-tier, even at just 18.
‘He doesn’t need looking after on the pitch – he is a player who is confident in his ability,’ he said.
‘Off the pitch he likes to talk. He gets on with everyone and everyone has helped him when he’s needed some help. It’s been good.
‘When you come to the first team, everyone is maybe a bit quieter but he is definitely coming into the system and being involved with us. Everybody has helped him and I think he is enjoying it.’
On international duty with the Republic of Ireland under-21s at present, Grealish is currently at the centre of a tug-of-war between the FAI and the English FA, with the Three Lions anxious to secure his services going forward.
Eligible for Ireland through his grandparents, the Birmingham-native has asked for more time before making his decision but, whoever he opts to pledge his allegiances to in the end, there’s no doubt that both his club and international future is bright.