Aston Villa's Callum Robinson lavishes praise on longtime teammate Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish

The 20-year-old striker has not been surprised by the impact his fellow academy graduate has made on the first-team so far.

Jack Grealish gave Aston Villa fans a glimpse of things to come during last season’s run-in with his starring performances and now longtime teammate and close friend Callum Robinson has further fuelled excitement about his future.

Speaking to the club’s official website following the first session of their pre-season training camp in Portugal, the 20-year-old striker had nothing but praise for his fellow youngster, hailing his “unbelievable natural talent” and backing him for a big 2015-16 campaign.

“Jack has always had unbelievable natural talent. He's had that for all the time I've played with him,” said Robinson. "He always trains very hard - and he often stays behind to work on his game. He's dedicated to that.

“I have played with him for so many years so I have always known what he can do. Last season wasn't a surprise to me and I believe he's got so much more to show.”

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsTotal ShotsShooting AccuracyAssistsTotal Key PassesTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Jack Grealish MF Aston Villa 0 13 38% 1 18 29 74.19% 93% 17 815

Grealish, 19, was forced to wait until the final months of last season for his first real chance to make a first-team impact, as former manager Paul Lambert elected to approach his development with acute care.

However, after having to settle for fleeting cameos over the first half of the campaign, the subsequent arrival of new boss Tim Sherwood saw the teenage midfielder handed his full Premier League debut in April’s 3-3 home draw with Queens Park Rangers, following which he would go from strength to strength.

Going on to start all eight remaining games, the Solihull-native earned rave reviews for his role in helping the club both avoid the drop and make the FA Cup final, while also prompting an international tug-of-war between the Republic of Ireland and England over his services.

His disappearing act in the 4-0 final defeat to Arsenal reminded observers that he is still far from the finished article but Robinson stresses that he is just scratching the surface of his potential at this stage.

“What strikes me most is that Jack has gone in and he's already a key figure in the team,” added Robinson. “But he's still young. When he gets more games under his belt, I think you'll see even more improvement. He's got much more to show everyone.

"He's taken his chance after it was given to him. That's inspiring for all the lads in the academy. It offers real hope that you can do it too."

The club’s other star prospect, Robinson himself spent most of last season on loan at Preston North End, where he scored four goals in 25 games from the left wing to help the club seal promotion to the Championship.

Now looking to break into the Villa first-team, Sherwood’s noted fondness for homegrown talent would suggest that he has a good chance of earning a few run-outs alongside Grealish next term, although he will need to make a good impression over the rest of pre-season first.

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