Former Leeds United midfielder Shaun Derry has told Sky Sports that Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish needs to be more serious about training.
Derry, who managed the 19-year-old at Notts County last season, believes that the teenager can become a top player.
“I inherited him,” the 37-year-old said on the Sky Sports’ Morning View show on Thursday. “He was one of two young players, him and Callum McGregor were there when I arrived in November.
“From day one, you just knew that this was a very special player, a player who absolutely just loves playing football. He just played with a freshness.
“He didn’t really seem to understand the importance of training at the time, he just wanted to play football. He wanted to be out there, play five-a-side game, play match games, and when he did play and when he was on form, he was unplayable.
“Personally, I think Jack needs to have an understanding of the importance of training to start with, but once he understands that and does that week in and week out, I think we will have a top player on our hands.”
Grealish is only 19 years of age, and one can understand why he is always so eager to play all the time.
The teenager, who has established himself in the Villa first team, is a hugely talented player - his performance against Liverpool in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at London’s Wembley Stadium last weekend proved that.
Current Villa manager Tim Sherwood is known for his work with young players, and one suspects that the former Tottenham Hotspur boss will be making sure that Grealish trains properly.
While Grealish may be enthusiastic about playing all the time, he will need to understand that applying himself in training is not only going to make him a better player, but it will also help him become a better team player.