Aston Villa: The eye-catching numbers behind Jack Grealish's emergence

Jack Grealish

Villa's teenage star has put up some outstanding statistics since breaking into Tim Sherwood's side.

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been earning rave reviews since making his full Premier League debut in last month’s 3-3 draw with Queens Park Rangers, and the statistics show that the praise is more than deserved.

The teenage midfielder struggled to break into the since-departed Paul Lambert’s side over the first half of the season but has since flourished under Tim Sherwood’s guidance, rewarding his new manager’s faith in him with performances which have belied his tender age.

Now on a run of seven straight starts, there is a huge amount of buzz surrounding the Solihull-native’s future and, while it is still far too soon to christen him the real deal at age 19, the numbers he has put up since coming into the line-up prove that there is good reason to be excited.

Since his first top-flight start [7 April 2015], Grealish is leading the Premier League with Chelsea teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek in pass accuracy among players who have attempted at least 100 passes, completing 94 per cent of his 203 total passes.

 Premier League PositionTeamAssistsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ruben Loftus-Cheek MF Chelsea 0 1 104 94% 2 133
Jack Grealish MF Aston Villa 1 12 203 94% 6 484
Laurent Koscielny DF Arsenal 0 1 322 92% 6 540
Per Mertesacker DF Arsenal 0 0 390 92% 6 540
Santiago Cazorla MF Arsenal 1 9 565 92% 6 523

The figures look even more impressive, though, when compared to fellow midfielders who have attempted at least 200, with Grealish beating star names like Arsenal playmakers Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Yaya Toure into top spot.

 Premier League PositionTeamAssistsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Jack Grealish MF Aston Villa 1 12 203 94% 6 484
Santiago Cazorla MF Arsenal 1 9 565 92% 6 523
Francis Coquelin MF Arsenal 0 2 269 91% 5 413
Yaya Touré MF Man City 0 5 259 90% 5 325
Mesut Özil MF Arsenal 0 25 478 90% 6 531

However, it is not just Grealish's passing which has been making waves but also his dribbling prowess.

Vila's star prospect ranks fourth in dribble accuracy among all Premier League players who have attempted at least 15 dribbles over the past six games, completing 78.95 per cent of his 18 attempts to come in behind Jack Wilshere, Seamus Coleman and teammate Fabian Delph.

 Premier League PositionTeamTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Fabian Delph MF Aston Villa 16 88.89% 6 540
Seamus Coleman DF Everton 15 80% 6 540
Jack Wilshere MF Arsenal 15 80% 4 129
Jack Grealish MF Aston Villa 18 78.95% 6 484
Santiago Cazorla MF Arsenal 17 77.78% 6 523

Time will tell whether he can kick on into next season with all the expectations surrounding him but, with how he has dealt with the pressure thus far, things certainly bode well for the future.

Still to open his claret and blue account, it is no secret that he needs to add goals to his game but, as teammate and mentor Joe Cole has stressed in recent months, people around the club believe it won't be long before those come too.

“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,” the former England international told AVTV earlier this month. “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."

Comparisons to Hazard might seem a tad optimistic at this stage of his career but, based on what Grealish has shown during Villa's run-in, perhaps Cole's remarks are not so outlandish.

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