Aston Villa skipper Micah Richards excited by Jack Grealish's potential

The 19-year-old midfielder made his first Premier League appearance of the season in Saturday's 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace.

Aston Villa team captain Micah Richards has given Jack Grealish a glowing review after getting the chance to play with the 19-year-old for the first time in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.

Speaking to the club’s official website after the narrow loss, in which Grealish made his first senior appearance of the campaign after recovering from the hamstring problem he picked up at the start of pre-season, the summer signing highlighted his fit again teammate's performance as the main positive his side could take from the match.

Starting at the tip of a midfield diamond, the emerging No. 10 picked up right where he left off last term, as he proved Villa’s main attacking threat throughout the 90 minutes with his direct running and movement in the final third, while also completing 88 per cent of his 32 passes.

 Vs Crystal Palace Total ShotsShots OntargetKey PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyTouchesBall RecoveriesDispossessedMins Played
Jack Grealish 2 1 1 32 88% 5 80% 44 6 1 90

Though he may not have been able to inspire the visitors to the result they wanted on the afternoon due to Jordan Amavi’s late goal-costing error, his impressive showing still left Richards convinced that the club have a special talent on their hands.

"The way Jack receives the ball and can take on players is something really special,” the centre-back told "I've not seen many players of that age being able to do that and look so comfortable with a football.

"He's a talented player and will only improve with time. He's got a big future. Hopefully we can keep him fit now.

"He had little hamstring issues earlier in pre-season but he's over that now and we're looking to see much more of him as the season continues."

Richard’s next opportunity to line up with Grealish will now come on Tuesday night when Tim Sherwood’s men face League Two side Notts County at Villa Park in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

The match will also hold special significance for the teenager, having got his first taste of senior football on loan at Meadow Lane during the 2013-14 season, when he racked up five goals and seven assists in 37 appearances to help the Nottinghamshire outfit retain their League One status against the odds.

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