The teenage winger made another impressive substitute appearance as Aston Villa sealed a last-gasp 2-1 home win over Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion.
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish showed fans another clear glimpse of his potential in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, with the youngster coming on for the final half-hour to help change the game for the home side.
Gabriel Agbonlahor had given Villa the lead in a dominant first-half performance from Tim Sherwood’s men, but West Brom come out after the break with renewed impetus, as Saido Berahino headed in a 66th-mintue equaliser.
The earlier introduction of Grealish seemed to give the claret and blues an extra spark in the attacking third, however, as their efforts to go for the win were rewarded in the final seconds when Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster brought down Matthew Lowton in the box for Christian Benteke to slot home the resulting spot-kick.
It wasn’t quite a world-beating cameo from the Solihull-native but, at just 19, the talent which has seen him labelled as one of the Premier League’s most exciting prospects was more than evident, as he showed tremendous confidence and verve for someone with just nine previous top-flight appearances, helping open up chances for his teammates with both his passing and movement.
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His run out even impressed former Villa goalkeeper David James, who was moved to take to Twitter at the final whistle to lavish praise on his contribution to the three points.
Grealish has changed the game, great substitution— David James (@jamosfoundation) March 3, 2015
Having started out the campaign with a handful of promising outings for the since-departed Paul Lambert, Grealish looked set to become an important part of the Scot’s plans moving forward, but the following months instead saw him limited to just 114 minutes of league action.
A loan move was mooted as a result, but new boss Sherwood stressed last week that the emerging winger will remain at Villa Park for the remainder of the campaign, in news which was no doubt well received among the fan base.
Sherwood is of course well-known for his work with Tottenham Hotspur’s development squad between 2008 and 2013, before taking over the manager’s job from Andre Villas-Boas, and his arrival could well benefit the likes of Grealish the most as a result.
How much of a role he has in the battle to avoid the drop moving forward remains to be seen but, as was showcased against the Baggies, he should be more than up for the challenge if called upon.