Why Jack Grealish needs to be handled with care by Aston Villa to help him develop

Villa Park

Jack Grealish was the star of the show during Aston Villa’s FA Cup semi-final success over Liverpool.

How times have changed at Aston Villa. The doom and gloom which hung over the club at the end of Paul Lambert’s time in charge has been turned around spectacularly by new boss Tim Sherwood.

Indeed, the former Tottenham Hotspur head coach has masterminded both a surge away from relegation danger in the Premier League and a run to the final of the FA Cup, where they have knocked out rivals West Bromwich Albion and high-flying Liverpool.

Sherwood’s attacking style has won over the fans and the return to form of Christian Benteke has been a major highlight in recent weeks. Another one of the new manager’s traits is to give young talents, developed by the academy system, a starring role in the first team.

That is exactly what he has done with Jack Grealish, who has been itching for a regular first team place for some time now.

The typically cautious Lambert restricted Grealish to mainly substitute cameos earlier in the year, but Sherwood has shown huge faith in the 19-year-old and sees him as a major part of his plans.

Sherwood brought the likes of Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb through to the Tottenham first-team last year and he is doing exactly the same thing at Villa with Grealish.

Unlike some established stars, these youngsters who come through the academy have points to prove, meaning their performance level is naturally consistent. There is an instant motivation to perform well to try and keep their place in the side.

Grealish was the star of the show as Villa knocked out Liverpool, as he showed off his fantastic touch, balance and eye for a pass. He is a major talent, who should be given time to develop.

There is a tendency to rush these young talents into a big-money move or into international football but Grealish should be given at least two seasons to make his mark at Villa and get regular minutes over a prolonged period of time. This will give us a chance to see how good he can become after a sustained run of games.

There is no point getting carried away yet. After a month of impressive displays, there is a long way to go in his career.

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