According to the Villa boss, the teenager wouldn't be starring in the first-team at the moment had he listened to certain members of the club's former staff.
In telling AVTV of how he wants time to judge Aston Villa’s returning loanees himself, manager Tim Sherwood couldn’t resist taking a mischievous dig at the previous management regime over their handling of Jack Grealish.
Grealish, 19, seemed primed to fill a major role in former boss Paul Lambert’s side after making his first-team breakthrough at the start of the season but instead spent the final months of the Scot’s tenure either warming the bench or with the reserves.
Sherwood’s appointment was hailed as great news for the teenage attacker, however, due to his noted faith in homegrown talent, and so it’s proved, as he has since earned rave reviews amid a run of four straight starts.
It’s left fans to wonder how the departed Lambert could have chosen to ignore him during the club’s dismal stretch of form which led to his sacking, and Sherwood himself would seem to share their sentiment.
Discussing the futures of Joe Bennett, Gary Gardner and Callum Robinson, who are all due to return from their respective loan spells this month, the Villa boss stressed how he is keen to get a look at the trio up close and personal so that he can form his own opinion on their long-term worth.
After all, as he himself noted, had he listened to the previous regime’s thoughts on Grealish then there’s a strong chance the former trainee wouldn’t be starring in the line-up at the moment.
“They can’t play obviously, as they’re not on the squad list, but there’s an opportunity for me to have a look and give an early decision on whether I think they’re going to be ones for us for the future or not,” said Sherwood.
“I’ve seen very little to be honest – not enough to make a judgement now – but my mind’s clear and I’m not listening to anyone else who was here before.
“I’ll make my own judgement because if I’d listened to some people who were here previously then Jack Grealish wouldn’t be playing at the moment.”