Joe Cole compares Aston Villa's teenage star Jack Grealish to Eden Hazard

Jack Grealish

The former England international believes his flourishing teammate could become one of the Premier League's elite in the future.

Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole has been so impressed with teammate Jack Grealish’s recent displays that he has even compared the 19-year-old to Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard.

Cole was speaking to AVTV after witnessing Grealish earn rave reviews from his past five consecutive starts, with the emerging attacker now a central part of Tim Sherwood’s side.

Since arriving at Villa in the summer on a free transfer, the former England international has made a concerted effort take his fellow number 10 under his wing and earned the praise of Sherwood just last week for his mentoring role.

Now delighted to see him getting a proper chance to prove his talent, Cole believes that Grealish could go on to become the full package if he can improve his end product and, while he is reluctant to put too much pressure on him, believes he possesses the same qualities seen in the new PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

“What you’ll find with Jack is that he’s going to be brilliant for the rest of this season but next season he’ll be even better,” said Cole. “He’ll develop and, when his decision-making goes on to that next level, he’ll be unstoppable.

“He’s going to end up getting you 10 goals and 10 assists each season. We talk about him being like an Eden Hazard. Obviously he’s still got a lot of development to go, and I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but he’s got a great attitude and wants to work hard.

“Even at the weekend, he looked to go on another level. You can train as much as you like but playing games is what’s important and he’s looked strong in every one.

“He comes from a good family, his head’s on his shoulders and the sky’s the limit for him.”

Cole also insists that Grealish has the best manager to help him realise his full potential in Sherwood, who arrived at the club with a first-rate reputation for rearing homegrown talent from his time as Tottenham Hotspur’s development director.

He has more than lived up to that billing so far, having given the teenager the opportunities which he found few and far between under former boss Paul Lambert, and Cole believes it will serve as a huge boost in the club’s bid to attract other up-and-coming prospects.

“The gaffer’s the perfect manager for him,” he added. “If you could come in and ask a young player, ‘Who do you want play for?’ you would have said Tim Sherwood.”

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