Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has told the club’s official website that Jack Grealish will get more first-team opportunities moving forward, and has compared the promising winger to Tottenham Hotspur’s Andros Townsend.
Grealish, 19, earned rave reviews after making his senior breakthrough at the start of the season, with his impressive top-flight cameos attracting interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, per the Daily Mail.
After penning a new long-term deal in October, the Birmingham-born attacker looked set for a significant role in the since-departed Paul Lambert’s side, but the following months saw him restricted to just a few fleeting appearances.
A Championship loan stint had been mooted last month, according to the Birmingham Mail, but the subsequent arrival of Sherwood has since offered him a fresh start with a manager who is noted for putting his faith in homegrown talent.
The claret and blue product showed a glimpse of things to come earlier this week in the last-gasp 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, appearing as a 59th-minute substitute to help change the tide of the match, and his manager now plans to get him more involved amid their fight to avoid the drop.
Pointing to Tottenham wide man Townsend, who he helped bring through during his time at White Hart Lane, the former Spurs boss believes Grealish is just as talented as the England international and has backed him to go on to become a Holte End hero.
"He's already a local hero, the fans love him - and he will get more and more opportunities to play,” said Sherwood. "I have a track record of developing players and Jack is going to be taken under my wing and I am going to point him in the right direction.
"When he came off the training ground, I said 'Did you see the goal from Andros Townsend the other night?' He said no and I said 'well go and see it, come and see me and we will have a chat about it.'
"Because Andros turned defence into attack in a heartbeat and then stuck the ball in the corner because he has energy and desire and ability.
"Jack has all of that. He just needs to marry it all together.”