Christian Benteke pleased to be playing with Jack Grealish at Aston Villa

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Villa's teenage sensation started the final nine games of last season alongside the Belgian striker.

Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish is a “great talent” and a pleasure to play with, teammate Christian Benteke has told AVTV.

Grealish, 19, earned just fleeting cameos in former boss Paul Lambert’s side over the first half of last season but would go on to flourish under Tim Sherwood’s guidance during the Premier League run-in.

After being handed his full top-flight debut in April’s home 3-3 draw with now-relegated Queens Park Rangers, the skilful midfielder ended up starting the final nine games of the campaign in a No. 10 role and received widespread praise for his part in helping the club avoid the drop.

His underwhelming performance in the 4-0 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal showed that there is still a lot of work ahead but Benteke believes a bright career awaits after benefiting from the former trainee’s attacking presence and pinpoint passing himself.

“I think he’s a great talent, Jack,” said Benteke. “We can see it every day in training and with the way that he played and handled the pressure.

“He’s only 19 and it’s not easy for a young player like him. I enjoy [playing with him] because he likes to give me great balls.”

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether Benteke has lined up alongside Grealish for the last time given the increasing speculation surrounding the in-demand striker’s future.

Linked with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur [h/t Daily Star], the Belgium international’s agent has declared in recent weeks that his client wants to experience European football, leaving the claret and blue faithful fearing the worst.

Villa's star man was not discussing those matters during the recent interview, however, and instead revealed his reasons for joining the club from Genk back in August 2012.

“Before I came, they had some great names like [James] Milner, Robert Pires, Ashley Young, [Stewart] Downing, John Carew and there was also a Belgian – Luc Nilis,” he added.

“They had a good history – that’s why I came here.”

Given what he has showcased during his short career, Grealish has a great chance to write himself into Villa folklore going forward but he might well have to do it without Benteke's help.

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